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India is often labeled as the ‘pharmacy of the world’, But with reliance on API imports from China running to well over 60% for most drugs, India’s claim to be a world leader in pharmaceuticals is heavily compromised. Analyse what should India do to overcome such dependencies and maintain its position in the pharma industry.

Topic:  Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

4. India is often labeled as the ‘pharmacy of the world’, But with reliance on API imports from China running to well over 60% for most drugs, India’s claim to be a world leader in pharmaceuticals is heavily compromised. Analyse what should India do to overcome such dependencies and maintain its position in the pharma industry.(250 words)

Reference: Economic Times

Why this question:

The article brings out a detailed analysis of how the novel coronavirus pandemic in China, with its epicenter in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, threatens to starve India’s pharma industry of key inputs.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the probable dependency that India has on China for its Pharma industry and in what way India needs to strengthen its capabilities and reduce dependencies to maintain its position in the world Pharma market.

Directive:

Analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Briefly explain the context of the question.

Body:

Highlight how far India is doing well in the pharma markets of the world. Explain why India is called – ‘pharmacy of the world’. Discuss the dependency of India for APIs from China.

Suggest what needs to be done?- The way ahead is to set up an enabling environment for mega bulk drugs parks in the cluster approach, so as to reap economies of scale and scope in the public private partnership mode. The Draft Pharmaceutical Policy 2017 needs to be operationalized without further delay and dither, with focused policy attention for stepped-up output of cost-competitive API. The Indian pharma industry was quite self-reliant in most APIs well into the 1990s. But rigidities in the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) of circa 1995 did lead many producers to opt out of the API segment.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.