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Summit highlights growing R&D concerns

October 13, 2004 11:56 IST

Increased research and development expenditure, rising costs, poorly understood new technologies and innovations are a cause for concern for big pharmaceutical companies, said Satish Reddy, managing director and chief operating officer of Dr Reddy's Laboratories, at a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Shalini Pillay, associate director of KPMG Avisory Services Pvt Ltd, emphasised on networking parmaceutical industry and growth strategies to boost R&D and sales productivity.

According to him, for leveraging opportunities in the industry, mergers and acquisitions have been adopted to boost the top line.

The summit highlighted the compelling global developments facing the sector. Pushpa Bhargave, former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, in the keynote address said, Asia's biotech industry was the fastest growing sector in the global pharmaceutical industry.

He said given India's technical power, capabilities, favourable infrastructure and requisite value structure, it could easily become the leader in drug manufacturing.

Business opportunities existed in vaccines, DNA probes, biochemical sensors for diagnosis, drugs through GM microbes, peptide drugs and drugs through marine sources.

Rupert Hill, director, European Healthcare Group, said the challenging environment has driven some major M&As in the recent months and will continue to happen in the future.

The key developments affecting the industry are product withdrawals, patent expiration, continued concerns about R& D productivity, governmental and pricing pressure, and sluggish volume growth, he added.

Sunil Mehra, vice-president, Healthcare Group, suggested leveraging domestic skills and focus on larger international markets by exploiting innovative global generics opportunity.

BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai