With nothing in the Budget and the country headed for elections, an unpredictable regime for Indian pharma could hurt long-term investments in the sector, say industry representatives.
Speaking to Business Today, DG Shah, Secretary General of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance - which has leading Indin pharmaceutical companies as its members - sees problems on three fronts: pricing, regulatory and exports. Pricing - no clarity on what will be covered by the price control mechanism; On the regulatory side, unpredictability through sudden decisions such as the ban on manufacture of oxytocin injection and allowing only Karnataka Antibiotics to make it; Exports - not enough done to help firms deal with globally emerging tariff and non-tariff barriers.
"The United States of America is reviewing inbound duty free access for certain products from India. Nations such as Saudi Arabia and Vietnam are raising barriers because they are keen to promote local manufacture," says Shah.