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In-Depth Jobs

Volume-2, 14-20, 2018

Indian Pharma and Health Sector Emerging as a Substantial Job Creator

Dr. Ranjeet Mehta
& Ms Ankita Rani

Health care is one of the significant indicators of any country's overall development and status of health care indicates the nature of development of a country. Pharmaceutical companies are working consistently towards improvement of health care among people. Pharmaceutical products or drugs are one of the important components of health care management and its expenses. The increase in the income of individuals and  change in lifestyle are contributing to increase in the expenses of health care management of an individual. The global pharmaceutical market size is estimated to reach USD 1.4 trillion and the Indian pharmaceutical market size  is estimated as USD 55 billion by the year 2020. The Indian pharmaceutical sector is expected to grow with faster compound annual growth rate (CAGR) compared to global growth rate during the period 2015-2020.
Indian pharma sector is expected to see double digit growth in 2018 as health awareness improves and life spans increase. Drug makers and hospitals are expected to see upward trend in hiring across roles, looking to recruit for the roles such as diagnostics and administration. Growth in lifestyle and non communicable diseases demand more healthcare professionals and creating more jobs and vacancies in pharma sector. Recruitment firms predicted that thousands of job vacancies are available in pharma for freshers across job roles. The rise in collaboration between Indian and global pharma companies will help to improve innovation and scale which resulted in growth in recruitment and eliminate layoffs. The Pharma Industry has contributed significantly in creating a rich talent pool of researchers, scientists, doctors and project managers, the experts said at the meet, organised by   the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI).
Globally as well as in India, the pharmaceutical industry is rapidly undergoing changes. The pace of this transformation has made it important for us to invest in developing young talent and adapting to their needs. As Generation Y begins to play a more important role in the workforce, the pharmaceutical industry will also need to adjust to the changing workplace dynamics and cultivate a strong image as an 'employer of choice'.  A digital wave is sweeping across the $17 billion Indian pharmaceutical industry and companies are dumping old ways of marketing for newer technology, a survey of 20 top drug makers in the country has found. This new technology ranges from scientific detailing to doctors to using newer algorithms for better insights into issues like patient compliance. The trend matches a similar switch in China over the last few years.The pharma industry's marketing spends through digital platforms is estimated to shoot up nearly 50% in the next two years to touch Rs 220 crore, Bengaluru-based market research firm Indegene's study shows.Mobile apps and social media are set to play a bigger role in this growth, the study that is part of a larger report on global digital marketing trends found. This will help India catch up with tech-savvy emerging markets peers like China, where nearly half the companies are expected to allocate more than a fifth of their marketing budget to digital marketing by 2018. Pharmacompanies in India have already begun switching to new technology, as new launches show.
The pharmaceutical segment is seen as an integral part of the Indian healthcare market, which is estimated to be worth Rs. 10,000 crore and growing at a CAGR of 22.9 per cent. Globally, the Indian pharma market is the third largest in terms of volume and 13th in terms of value. By 2020 genericsmedicines  will occupy 70 per cent market share followed by over-the-counter 21 per cent and patented drugs capturing 9 per cent market share.
Keeping in mind the surge in the pharmaceutical sector, one must not neglect certain aspects of the Indian sector which is highly unorganised and fragmented in nature. It has nearly 25,000 companies and only 330 are organised. Total employable candidates with B.Pharm degrees were 42.3 per cent in 2016 as against those 40.62 per cent in 2015. Also as per the industry-wise hiring targets for women in pharma and healthcare sectors, the total target is about 38.67 per cent women as per the India Skill Report and the total employability of women is only about 28.28 per cent which calls for the need of gender diversity to be maintained in the pharmaceutical industry.
Indian pharmaceutical sector is estimated to account for 3.1-3.6 per cent of the global pharmaceutical industry in value terms and 10 per cent in volume terms. India's pharmaceutical exports stood at US$ 16.8 billion in 2016-17 and are expected to grow by 30 per cent over the next three years to reach US$ 20 billion by 2020, according to the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (PHARMEXCIL). Export of pharmaceutical items reached Rs. 696.84 billion (US$ 10.76 billion) during April 2017. Indian companies received 304 Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) approvals from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in 2017. The country accounts for around 30 per cent (by volume) and about 10 per cent (value) in the US$ 70-80 billion US generics market.
India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume. Of late, consolidation has become an important characteristic of the Indian pharmaceutical market as the industry is highly fragmented. India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. The country also has a large pool of scientists and engineers who have the potential to steer the industry ahead to an even higher level. Presently over 80 per cent of the antiretroviral drugs used globally to combat AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) are supplied by Indian pharmaceutical firms.
Major Government Initiatives         in Pharma and Healthcare Sector in India
Some of the major  initiatives taken by the government of India to promote the pharmaceutical and Healthcare sector in India are as follows:
*The Union Cabinet has given its nod for the amendment of the existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in the pharmaceutical sector in order to allow FDI up to 100 per cent under the automatic route for manufacturing of medical devices subject to certain conditions.The drugs and pharmaceuticals sector attracted cumulative FDI inflows worth US$ 15.59 billion between April 2000 and December 2017, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
*In March 2018, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) announced its plans to start a single-window facility to provide consents, approvals and other information. The move is aimed at giving a push to the Make in India initiative.
*The Government of India unveiled 'Pharma Vision 2020' aimed at making India a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacture. Approval time for new facilities has been reduced to boost investments.
*Introduction of mechanisms such as the Drug Price Control Order and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to deal with the issue of affordability and availability of medicines.
*The launch of the flagship national insurance scheme for 100 million families and upto 500 million beneficiaries up to Rs 5 lakh a year to create the world's largest public health insurance scheme augers well for secondary and tertiary care in India.
*Government of India  launched new National Health Policy (NHP) after 15 years the last health policy was approved. The plan aims to strengthen India's healthcare system. The policy proposes to increase the public health expenditure by 2.5 percent of the GDP from the current 2 percent GDP spending on healthcare.The policy aims to reduce the maternal mortality rate, infant and child death rate due to many non-communicable and infectious diseases.Elimination of leprosy by 2018, kala-azar and lymphatic filariasis by 2017 is targeted in the policy.The policy aims to achieve the global target for HIV/AIDS by 2020 the goals include 90% of all people living with HIV know their status, 90% of all people living with HIV received sustained antiretroviral therapy, and the viral in 90% of those receiving antiretroviral therapy is suppressed.
*Healthcare services like ePharmacy, eDiagnostics launched by Government can remove many malpractices of the healthcare industry and make it accessible to even those in remote areas having little access to healthcare. The introduction of electronic health record (EHR), national knowledge network for tele-education, teleconsultations and digital library are some vital digital intervention for nation's health. Connecting digitally to specialized doctors from anywhere increases the reach of the professionals to the patients.
*Door-to-Door Screening for Chronic Diseases is  a massive free door-to-door screening for the early detection and treatment of cancer, heart disorders, and diabetes. This programme targets the critical age group of 30 to 69 year old people. The health of working age population is critically important for a developing country like India. The improvement in their health, the chance of survival and productivity is essential to eliminate poverty and growth and development of the country.
*lThe Prime Minister launched rotavirus vaccine,Rotavac of Bharat Biotech- first indigenously developed and manufactured vaccine in 2015. Every year, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus kills about 80,000 children under 5 years of age.  Bharat Biotech also launched the first indigenously developed H1N1 swine flu vaccine under the brand name HNVAC™. It is also developing vaccines for the mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and chikungunya. This will have significant impact in healthcare and  many other major reforms can be expected from this government that will propel the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector of India to develop a healthier India.
*Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana- This  is a campaign launched by  the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India, to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra's known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra. Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMBJAK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
*lBPPI (Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs for co-coordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMBJK).
*The Ministry of AYUSH was formed on 9th November 2014 to ensure the optimal development and propagation of AYUSH systems of health care. Earlier it was known as the Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) which was created in  March 1995 and renamed as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in November 2003, with focused attention for development of Education and Research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
*The new Ayushman Bharat scheme, aimed at addressing health holistically, will also generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.
Finally, Pharmaceutical and healthcare sector is likely to witness an over 20 percent growth in hiring this year and also expected to generate around 1,34,000 jobs according to the India Skills Report 2016. As per estimates the pharma industry currently employs about 5.5-5.7 lakh people. This increase can be attributed to the initiatives by the government. A good investment in the pharma, life science and healthcare sectors is showing positive signs.Going forward, better growth in domestic sales would also depend on the ability of companies to align their product portfolio towards chronic therapies for diseases such as cardiovascular,      anti-diabetes, anti-depressants and anti-cancer. Indian government has taken many steps to reduce costs and bring down healthcare expenses. Speedy introduction of generic drugs into the market has remained in focus and is expected to benefit the Indian pharmaceutical companies. In addition, the thrust on rural health programmes, lifesaving drugs and preventive vaccines also augurs well for the pharmaceutical companies. As per a report, in spite of prevailing challenges in the Indian pharma sector, 58,000 additional job opportunities are likely to be created as the industry is expected to grow up to 45 per cent by 2025.
India is a rapidly developing economy with a very small super-rich class, fast expanding middle class and 22 per cent still under the poverty line. India has to talk of health in terms of infant mortality rates (IMR), maternal mortality ratios (MMR) and life expectancies. India still imports around 80-85 per cent of its medical technology. With judicious plans and efficient implementation, the private sector and government need to work hand in hand as one team to make further progress and make India one of the global hubs of innovation and manufacturing in healthcare particularly medical technology. Metro and Tier-I markets would make significant contributions to this growth, driven by rapid urbanization and greater economic development. Rural markets will grow the fastest driven by step-up from current poor levels of penetration. The hospital segment will increase its share and influence, growing to 25 per cent of the market in 2020. This will create ample opportunities for jobs in pharma and medical sector. India has enough fundamental strength that will help foster this vision. It can be concluded that the Pharma and Health Sector               is set to reach new heights of        growth with a huge domestic market, technical expertise, plentiful natural and financial resources as well as a large pool of entrepreneurs who will contribute to Pharma and Healthcare sector in India. 
Dr Ranjeet Mehta, Principal Director PHDCCI,
email: ranjeetmehta@gmail.com and Ms Ankita Rani,, Researcher in Biotechnology