Economic Times concludes the Pharma & Life Sciences Congress 2017

8th November’17, Mumbai: With the Indian Pharmaceuticals market growing ever larger, The Economic Times saw the need to cultivate a platform for researchers, pharmaceuticals industries, healthcare professionals and various stakeholders to discuss the latest advances in the space. The Economic Times Pharma & Life Sciences Congress 2017, held today at The Taj Vivanta, Mumbai, saw prominent industry experts deliberate on the ‘Future of Pharma & Life sciences.’

The eventconvened with opening remarks from Dr. Maruthi Viswanathan, Chief ExecutiveOfficer, Rx Prism and later a keynote address delivered by Mr. Ranjit Shahni,Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Novartis. In the keynote address, Mr.Shahani highlighted the key trends, opportunities, challenges that the Indianindustry faces, stating, “Demographic trends like increase in population, averagelife expectancy are putting the healthcare system under pressure.”

Setting thetone for the day, Mr. Deepak Lamba, President - Times Strategic Solutions,said, “The Indian Pharma industry is on the threshold of becoming a majorglobal market by 2020. We at ET believe no global pharmaceutical company canafford to ignore India and its growth. We thus wanted to provide a platform tosustain this growth and bring more positive changes through a talented pool ofPharma experts.”

Dilip GShah, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, expanded further,saying, “The future would be less and less predictable and the disruption wouldcome at a faster rate that we have witnessed and this disruption would comefrom completely unknown parties, like digital or medical science and mydiscussion with the other industry shows that we are not prepared for future.”To battle these disruptions, Annaswamy Vaidheesh, Vice President, South Asia& Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical, suggested setting upthink tanks within the country.

In thesession titled Moving Beyond Generics-Innovation in Pharma-the next up,visionaries , Daara Patel, secretary General, IDMA; Jawed Zia, CountryPresident, Novartis and Kanchana TK, Director General OPPI expounded on themanner in which we should look into working with the government from a policyperspective to actually innovate in Pharma. Mr. Patel added, “Most of thepatients are not getting medicines due to poor infrastructure. India hasaffordability but as far as accessibility is concerned it is far behind thanany other country in the world.” 

Thediscussion also highlighted that patent protection is a big challenge in pharmainnovations. Speakers suggested that the government should free the Pharmaindustry from the shackles of price control, there is a lot of competition andthe industry is mature enough. Only when there is a drastic difference in theprice points should the government intervene. It ended on a positive note, withthe statement,‘The value of innovation should be seen as an investment not onlyfor health but also for economy.’ 

Movingforward in a dialogue between Abhishek Lagvankar, Marketing, Medical Nutrition,Danone; Alap Gandhi, Head Medical Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals;Rinkesh Shah, Digital marketing Strategist, Cipla on Pharma Marketing goingdigital, it was highlighted that digital marketing in Pharma has low awarenessas compared to other industries and 70% of today’s population turns to theinternet for medical information. They also said most companies develop apps.However, studies have found that 75% of people don’t use the app after 3months. Hence what will help in moving forward in digital marketing sphere isto have real time patient data and not just attempt to roll out quarterlymarketing initiatives. It ended with an insight that Pharma Industries are waybehind in applying digital strategy and that it should pick up.

The dayconcluded with an enlightening discussion between Mr. Shantanu Mukherjee, LegalHead, Asia Pacific and Japan, Lupin and Sudesh Shetty, Partner and Head,Forensics, Life Sciences, KPMG on manufacturing in India, compliance inmanufacturing, making it globally compliant and the road ahead. Mr. SudeshShetty ended the session with a remark, “The cost of compliance goesexponentially up when it’s reactive.”

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