The state and future of Pharmacy & Healthcare Industries in India.
It is a new day for the industries of Pharmacy and Healthcare in India. Large strides are being made that are directly impacting the industry in a big way.
In recent times, Healthcare has grown to be one of the largest business verticals in India. From the perspective of revenue and employments generated, Healthcare stands as one of the top industries in terms of growth and future prospects. As the expenditure by public and private sectors has increased, so has the healthcare sector as a whole. This has widened the geographical coverage that the healthcare sector provides and its services are being made available in areas that were previously considered difficult to cover. Sturdy growth and outstanding support from the Government has paved the way for clinical trials to be conducted with ease, encouraging the drug research industry.
This in turn has encouraged the businesses of outsourcing, medical tourism and production of advanced medical devices in the country. The healthcare market is projected to record a compound annual growth rate of a staggering 16.5% by 2020. This would mean the industry will soon be as vast as an astounding USD 280 billion.
As per the information from the Ministry of Health, development of new technologies has been targeted to tackle diseases like Cancer and Tuberculosis. Between 2000 and 2017, diagnostic centres and healthcare facility businesses attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of around USD 5 Billion, which gives us an idea of how well the technology development industry is doing. Another large stride in the industry is the memorandum of understanding that has been signed between India and Cuba for increased cooperation in healthcare and medicine, which has been confirmed by the Government of India’s ministry of Family Welfare. This will certainly improve the healthcare ecosystem for both the countries.
In India, the healthcare delivery system is segregated into two major components, Government and private. The Government sector provides the basic healthcare facilities in the form of primary healthcare centres which are set up in rural areas. The private sector provides the majority of secondary, tertiary and quaternary care institutions that offer more advanced healthcare facilities in major metropolitan cities. This gives us a peek into the portion of the healthcare industry that is occupied by the private sector.
India’s strength in the Healthcare sector comes from its highly competitive pricing of the healthcare products. This coupled with the vast number of well-trained medical professionals available in the country make for a flawless combination.
The costs of medical products in India is much lower compared to the western countries and other Asian countries and the cost of surgery in India is about 10% of what is found in the US or Europe. This has been a major contributor in the medical tourism industry.
The Government is forming several important regulations and formulating initiatives to promote the healthcare industry in the country as well. For instance, the Government is launching an all-new Air Dispensary to provide quality medical services in the northeast. This will make the essential medical services available via a helicopter service. This innovative service has already received funding of roughly Rs. 25 Cr. from the Ministry of Development of Northeast Region (DONER). The Government is also planning initiatives to immunize every child under the age of two years and pregnant women who haven’t been a part of the immunization programme.
This is aimed to improve the coverage of immunization programmes that have been launched in the past. The Healthcare industry is also sure to be impacted by the decision of the Government to allocate more funds to tackle lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity in India.
The challenge that the Indian Healthcare sector is facing now, is to keep up with the pace that has been set by the current market trends. This is a particularly hard situation to tackle when we consider where our strengths lie. Maintaining high standards of medicine and medical services, while keeping the prices as competitive as they are today, is one tough nut to crack. This is sure to prove a challenge to the R&D departments as well. As the consumer requirements evolve and newer technologies are implemented, it is going to be increasingly difficult to justify the expenses while trying to keep the prices low.
But this challenge is one that the country is ready to take on and many players in the healthcare sector today are looking forward to the excitement that is sure to follow.