New Delhi, June 08,2015: Government on Friday urged pharmaceutical companies to increase investment in research and development (R&D) to emerge as a hub of innovation in low cost health products and services.

India will have to move beyond the manufacturer of generic drugs and emerge as a hub of innovation in low cost health products and services, said Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda at a FICCI conference on ‘India Life Sciences’, a report on life sciences industry.

“Indian manufacturers are spending less than 2% of the total turnover on research and development. The companies need to invest in development of new molecules and innovations,” Nadda said while releasing the ‘Vision Document-2030 of Indian Life Sciences’.

“We are ready to support the suggestions on better R&D. We will discuss the recommendations of the pharmaceutical companies. But we have to see how our R&D can become more robust, innovative and with added inputs,” he said.

Saying that the patents of many biopharmaceuticals and innovative molecules are expiring in 2018, Nadda exhorted on the indigenous companies to grab the opportunity.

“This would be the best time for Indian manufacturers to initiate production of such components so that saving drugs reach millions of patients across the world,” the Union minister said.

The expectation of pharmaceutical industry through ‘Make in India’ is to at least double the production of trade by 2020, he added.

Representatives of pharmaceutical industries requested government to support production of medical devices in the country by making amendments in the Drug and Cosmetic Act, 1940.

“At present, we are importing all the medical equipments used in the hospitals. So the new rules should promote ‘Make in India’ of such devices,” DS Brar, Chairman GVK Biosciences said.

According to Vision Document-2030, the life sciences industry aims to grow to a size of $190-200 billion by the end of this period and also to create four million new jobs in the country over the next 15 years. PTI

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