The Indian Pharma sector has a few landmark positions in the world and the future is bright for every link in through the supply chain. A few highlights^1 of the Pharma Industry in India are listed below.

  • India ranks 3rd in the world in terms of volume and 14th in terms of value in Pharma sector.
  • India has the 2nd largest number of USFDA-approved manufacturing plants outside the US.
  • India has 2,633 FDA-approved drug products, and over 546 USFDA-approved company sites, the highest number outside the US.
  • India has a skilled workforce as well as high managerial & technical competence in comparison to its peers in Asia.
  • India's cost of production is nearly 33 per cent lower than that of the US.
  • Labour costs are 50-55 per cent cheaper and cost of setting up a production plant in India is 40 per cent lower than in Western countries.
  • Cost-efficiency continues to create opportunities for Indian companies in emerging markets & Africa.

But being big, innovative, profitable and availability of plenty of labour/talent does not all add up to serve the purpose that India needs. A drastic impact on "moment of sale" need improvement.

Even the most educated patients are bereft with a percentage of ignorance that could turn their medications ineffective or dangerous sometimes.


We need to make huge progress in the Pharma industry by focussing on customer experience, to place quality, awareness and ethical sale in front of the patients and caretakers. India deserves this in her stride towards progress to its right place.


For this, 1) we need to understand that Medicine being a regulatory segment will have multiple checkpoints and hurdles in its movement from raw material to the packaged product at the hand of the consumer. Time is a critical component of the cost factor of the end product. One GST has made an impact on this front and therefore the cost of the medicines must get rationalised. This customer centric approach will ensure a better touch of care for the consumers.

2. The Pharma industry is also experiencing the Make in India impact where the leading international pharmaceuticals are primed to manufacture their products in the country and therefore influx of technology is becoming evident. Though many unfavourable episodes of trademark infringements and price centric lawsuits have deterred the entry of international players into Indian Manufacturing, the restructuring of policies are countering this fear and the huge markets are making the best technology enter India Evident. Smoother entry of raw materials to India too shall help this factor become effective. This ensures production of better quality medicines leading to better recovery of patients.

3. At the "moment of sale", the patient needs a better hand holding than it is now being handled, and a higher level of empathy is the need of the hour. Currently, at the moment of sale, the packaged medicine is a puzzle to the end customer and is accepted on the trust on the Doctor. No harm in this, but very less information on the medicine is imparted to the end user. As there is a system of Brand Name prescription by doctors, it has taken a beating on trust levels of consumer due to high incentivisation mechanism that prevails. A hand from the Doctors to understand the medications better and for that the due-diligence from the Pharma companies to provide good amount of information that just doesn't meet the regulatory compliance but also reassuring test results and a periodic region wise data update of the effectiveness would do a lot of good for the patients as a consumer.

The long queues suggest the storefront needs to change. Also with India leading delivery of innovations for market giants, achieving this for this critical moment of sale experience is easily possible.

Therefore, the observation is that, if the medicines is dispensed better at the moment of sale, the ill shall suffer less and recover faster, better.

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