Updated on 28 February 2013
Indian budget doesn't amuse pharma, biotech
The Indian bioscience industry was not too happy with the budget proposed by Finance Minister Mr P Chidambaram. While there were some positive points in the form of proposals in the healthcare sector, the Indian pharma and the biotech sectors cried foul as the budget failed to address their concerns. The agri sector on the other hand had many reasons to cheer as it got a boost of 22 percent in allocations.
Reacting to the announcements made earlier in the day, Mr Ranjit Shahani, president of the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), and vice chairman and managing director, Novartis India, said that, "We were hoping the budget would breathe some life into the economy. The expectations of a big bang announcement to restart the economy were belied - expectations were high. Given what the market was grappling with, there is a dearth of big ideas." OPPI is the association of research-based international and large pharmaceutical companies in India.
Mr Tapan Ray, director general, OPPI, also said, "Unfortunately, there is nothing significant in this budget for the healthcare sector. The healthcare concerns of the country have not been given adequate importance in the Union Budget proposals for 2013-14 to help improving the healthcare needs of the nation."
He added that the industry had expected the government to take measures to make all imported life-saving drugs more affordable to the patients by eliminating the import duty. "Unfortunately, this has not happened," he said.