Economic Times concludes the Pharma & Life Sciences Congress 2017
3rd November'17, Mumbai: With the Indian Pharmaceuticals market growing ever larger, The Economic Times saw the need to cultivate a platform for researchers, pharmaceuticals industries, healthcare professionals and various stakeholders to discuss the latest advances in the space. The Economic Times Pharma & Life Sciences Congress 2017, held today at The Taj Vivanta, Mumbai, saw prominent industry experts deliberate on the 'Future of Pharma & Life sciences.' The event convened with opening remarks from Dr. Maruthi Viswanathan, Chief Executive Officer, Rx Prism and later a keynote address delivered by Mr. Ranjit Shahni, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Novartis. In the keynote address, Mr. Shahani highlighted the key trends, opportunities, challenges that the Indian industry faces, stating, "Demographic trends like increase in population, average life expectancy are putting the healthcare system under pressure." Setting the tone for the day, Mr. Deepak Lamba, President - Times Strategic Solutions, said, "The Indian Pharma industry is on the threshold of becoming a major global market by 2020. We at ET believe no global pharmaceutical company can afford to ignore India and its growth. We thus wanted to provide a platform to sustain this growth and bring more positive changes through a talented pool of Pharma experts." Dilip G Shah, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, expanded further, saying, "The future would be less and less predictable and the disruption would come at a faster rate that we have witnessed and this disruption would come from completely unknown parties, like digital or medical science and my discussion with the other industry shows that we are not prepared for future." To battle these disruptions, Annaswamy Vaidheesh, Vice President, South Asia & Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical, suggested setting up think tanks within the country. In the session titled Moving Beyond Generics-Innovation in Pharma-the next up, visionaries , Daara Patel, secretary General, IDMA; Jawed Zia, Country President, Novartis and Kanchana TK, Director General OPPI expounded on the manner in which we should look into working with the government from a policy perspective to actually innovate in Pharma. Mr. Patel added, "Most of the patients are not getting medicines due to poor infrastructure. India has affordability but as far as accessibility is concerned it is far behind than any other country in the world." The discussion also highlighted that patent protection is a big challenge in pharma innovations. Speakers suggested that the government should free the Pharma industry from the shackles of price control, there is a lot of competition and the industry is mature enough. Only when there is a drastic difference in the price points should the government intervene. It ended on a positive note, with the statement,'The value of innovation should be seen as an investment not only for health but also for economy.' Moving forward in a dialogue between Abhishek Lagvankar, Marketing, Medical Nutrition, Danone; Alap Gandhi, Head Medical Affairs, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals; Rinkesh Shah, Digital marketing Strategist, Cipla on Pharma Marketing going digital, it was highlighted that digital marketing in Pharma has low awareness as compared to other industries and 70% of today's population turns to the internet for medical information. They also said most companies develop apps. However, studies have found that 75% of people don't use the app after 3 months. Hence what will help in moving forward in digital marketing sphere is to have real time patient data and not just attempt to roll out quarterly marketing initiatives. It ended with an insight that Pharma Industries are way behind in applying digital strategy and that it should pick up. The day concluded with an enlightening discussion between Mr. Shantanu Mukherjee, Legal Head, Asia Pacific and Japan, Lupin and Sudesh Shetty, Partner and Head, Forensics, Life Sciences, KPMG on manufacturing in India, compliance in manufacturing, making it globally compliant and the road ahead. Mr. Sudesh Shetty ended the session with a remark, "The cost of compliance goes exponentially up when it's reactive." About ET Edge: Times Strategic Solutions Ltd., functional under the brand name ET Edge, is an Economic Times initiative founded to empower multiple industries and segments by sharing critical business knowledge through focused exhibitions and strategic conferences and summits. Encompassing business vistas, ET Edge strives to bring together visionaries and key leaders on its knowledge platforms to create a social and business environment conducive to the positive changes required by the industry. The main aim of this initiative is to channel global business intelligence through exhibitions, summits and conferences in overarching lectures, hands-on workshops, panels, roundtables, case studies and more.