“India’s pharma industry size is estimated at about USD 65 billion today. And by 2030, it is expected to increase to USD 165 billion. Now, I believe it has a potential to even be greater and touch USD 200 billion by 2030,” Mazumdar-Shaw told PTI.
But such a level of growth cannot just be driven by generics and biosimilars, it has to involve drug innovation, she noted.
“We have time to develop new drugs which could be blockbusters and I think what is required are research incentives to drive this kind of growth,” Mazumdar-Shaw stated.
The government has already come out with various research-linked incentive schemes, but they need to be in much greater strength to drive such growth, she stated.
Mazumdar-Shaw also sought that the government ought to decouple private sector investment and ensure that academic research institutes are funded out of the National Research Foundation. “I also believe that India Inc. is in a digital transformation journey..I think it will be nice to see some incentives being announced for digital transformation investing something like weighted average tax deduction, that could spur greater investment in this area,” she added. Elaborating further, Mazumdar-Shaw stated that the number of areas in terms of GST should be harmonised with an aim to give certain emerging areas a reprieve when it comes to the taxation.
“I, for one, believe that healthcare is one area where GST I feel is high, because ultimately patients pay for their services. And I think we need to reduce the cost of health care in any case,” she noted.
Mazumdar-Shaw sought GST exemption on various essential life saving drugs.
“Why should cancer patients have to pay high GST for very expensive cancer treatments and cancer drugs? I think these are things that the government does need to look into, very prudently,” she stated.
Asked to comment on the upcoming elections and its impact on the industry, she emphasised on the need for utilising the GST collections for building the Indian economy .
“What really encourages me about the Indian economy is that our ability to collect more from GST has allowed us actually to be cash surplus…Government is flushed with cash, which I think is a very good side. So we need to ensure that we utilise the GST collections for building the Indian economy in the way it’s been done at the moment,” she noted.