Pharmaceutical companies and digital health India

Pharmaceutical companies and digital health India

Overview Pharmaceutical companies in India

This article explores Pharmaceutical companies and digital health India. India is amongst sixth largest pharma producer in world and trades medicines to more than 150 countries.[1] About 70 percent of the patients get Indian medicines & drugs via NGO’s like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [2]

India has an influential place in the world’s pharma industry. The country has the advantage of a large pool of scientists and sharp engineers who have the potential to steer the sector ahead to newer heights. India is the biggest supplier of generic drugs universally with the Indian generic medicines accounting for 20 percent of global exports regarding volume. Presently, about 80 percent of drugs used globally to combat AIDS are supplied by Indian pharma firms. Around 90 percent of Anti-retroviral (ARVs), Anti-malarial and Anti-tubercular permissions are given to India. [3]

Indian pharma industry is mainly controlled by leading foreign companies having subsidiaries in India due to the availability of cheap labour in India at low cost. Pharma industry mainly controlled by global firms having affiliates in India due to the availability of labours at cheap rates. Production expenses in India are about 35-40 percent of those in the United States due to the accessibility of cheap labour at low cost.

The Indian administration has taken many drives to build a positive environment of pharma sector. [4] The union cabinet has approved amendment of the existent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in the pharmaceutical sector to allow FDI up to 100% for medical device manufacturing under certain conditions. The policies and initiatives of the government are intended for building more hospitals, ensuring ease of access to healthcare, improving the quality of pharmaceuticals and amending the quality of medical training. The human resources will strengthen that will fulfil the demands of the academic and scientific business communities regarding resources.

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Projections for future

It is growing at a fast rate and projected to be top 10 global markets by 2020. Indian pharma sector is projected to grow over 15% per annum between 2015 and 2020.

The industry is projected to grow to US$ 55 billion by 2020, with a potential to reach US$ 70 billion in a hostile growth scenario. India also kept its lead over China in the export of pharma products with an annual growth of 11.44% to US$ 12.91 billion in FY 2015-16, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Moreover, Indian pharmaceutical exports are expected to grow from 8-10% in FY 2016-17. Imports of pharmaceutical products rose narrowly by 0.80 percent annually to US$ 1,641 million.

Drug approvals given by US Food & Drug Association to Indian pharma companies has nearly double in 2015-16. [4] Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) affirmed that pharma industry received an FDI work US$ 14.53 billion from 2000 to 2016.

Biopharma is largest sub-sector which generated revenue of US$ 1.89 billion. It contributes around 62 percent of total dividends. Medical infrastructure will experience a dramatic growth with over US$ 200 billion invested over next decade. Finally, government spending in the healthcare sector will increase considerably, which is growing at 18% since 2006.

The impact of digital health on pharma industry

Pharma industry is experiencing revolution with programs like Digital India & Make in India.Social media platforms and health apps are expected to make a huge impact. According to reports, marketing expenditures on digital technologies is expected to touch Rs. 220 Crores by 2018.

The pharma companies are dumping old ways of marketing using newer technology. The new technology ranges from scientific recording to online prescriptions to provide efficient solutions. [5] Directors in the Pharmaceutical industry see the significance of Digital Health in the future and need to ensure successful implementation of similar strategies.

Nevertheless, pharma industry has to go many miles to make full use of digital technology. More than 50% of companies do not have plans in place or are currently in the process of evaluating and adopting Digital Health plans. Digital Health solutions are still motivated by the marketing department as most companies are using Digital Health for their marketing and sales business, while only a few considered it as a great significance for the entire organization. New techniques and partnerships are essential for successful layout, implementation, and management of Digital Health solutions. Digital health solutions are seen as a generator of new business. Pharma companies need to find ways to not only price their Digital Health solutions but also need to make confusion on who’ll pay them.

Technology adoption in pharma sector is likely to develop rapidly by 2020.

National and international pharma companies

  1. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  2. Biocon
  3. GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  4. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
  5. Abbott India
  6. Dr. Reddy’s
  7. Ranbaxy Laboratories
  8. Cipla
  9. Biocon
  10. Torrent Pharma
  11. Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  12. Lupin
  13. Serum Institute of India Ltd
  14. Sanofi
  15. NATCO Pharma Ltd

Digital health technology can help pharma companies provide a better experience for patients, improve medical results, and reduce the cost of care. In fact, Indian pharma companies have started the process of developing digital health solutions for patient engagement.

Sun Pharmaceuticals has launched a mobile app “RespiTrack” for asthma patients and to ensure them a right treatment.

GlaxoSmithKline’s local division believes companies will have to sharpen their digital skills as a large section of their customers will be moving in that space. According to the management group, approximately 20%-30% of GSK’s customers have started using digital technology via various apps and devices. GSK has not only strengthened the webinars, video dialogue, information portals and platforms like ‘Viva’ for physicians but has also equipped its power with devices like iPad’s for real-time monitoring.

Abbott India has also launched a fitness app and Genie, a heart and liver app. They have envisaged a blend of home based telehealth remote patient surveillance system with heart-failure medicines.

Digital health start-up Portea Medical has launched a project in cooperation with Israeli firm Physitrack. Under this plan, Portea Medical’s physiotherapy patients can access video-based fitness programs given by physiotherapists as well as can converse with them through Portea app. [6]

Logically R& D needs more tools & techniques for reducing research & development expenses. Currently, we can see ads of IBM Watson which is an application of big data and is core subject of many conferences where big data discussed for imaginative analysis. Software Company Schrodinger is providing penetrating insights on combinations using efficient model. [7]

Pharmaceutical companies and their digital health priorities in India

More & more firms are focusing on integrating digital solutions to improve the patient experience. Some are rising to the opportunity for digital health to strengthen their businesses. Digital health apps and technologies have the power to enhance a customer’s profit remarkably.

According to a market survey of Indian pharma companies, around 57% participants confirmed digital health solutions used for Marketing and Sales strategies.

33% of participants stated that their business’s digital health strategy was an important priority for the entire organization. Only 7% and 3% confirmed that digital health technologies are used for R&D and IT respectively. According to experts, some of the companies have not started considering digital health solutions for their businesses, but they will soon start recognizing its importance in next 2-3 years.

Prognosis of pharmaceutical companies and digital health India

Indian pharma sector is multiplying, driven by a rise in customer spending, urbanization & and raising awareness about health insurance.

Future sales in pharma industry depend upon the product on chronic ailments and their collaboration with digital health start-ups. Pharma enterprises need to improve the way in which they collaborate with digital health technology for their strategy execution. [8] R&D departments will have to think Digital Health elements from the demands of future health technology evaluations.

Pharmaceutical companies will have to be more active and able to bring in new views or situations on how to innovate, learn and share with the environment to cope with the particular speed of digital health solutions. To meet the requirements of changing business climate, they will have to adopt new business patterns and think of unique ideas to serve their young customers better. Furthermore, various regulatory implementations require careful considerations by the pharma industry. All this needs support from top management regarding guidance and investments.

The Indian government has taken many initiatives to reduce costs and bring down care expenses. Additionally, the push on rural health schemes, life-saving drugs, and preventive vaccines is also promising for the pharmaceutical companies. The Government of India has also devoted to set-up robust health care and delivery mechanisms.

Moving forward, pharma companies can make remarkable profits in the growth markets, but they won’t be enough to compensate price depletion in a mature market. India is well set to become one of the leading providers of healthcare to all, and as emerging markets become gradually important, India’s role becomes increasingly significant.

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