Indian Pharma Within Global Reach?

Padmashree Gehl Sampath


The Indian pharmaceutical industry is presently going through a phase of transition and potential consolidation, owing to India's new TRIPS-compliant intellectual property regime and other rules aimed at enhancing the industry's credibility nationally and internationally. Appropriate policy interventions can play a large role in cushioning the transition (and gradual consolidation) of the industry post-2005. Using firm level data collected in 2004-2005, this paper seeks to make two major contributions in this regard. The research findings show that the Indian pharmaceutical sector is a heterogeneous mix of firms with vast differences in innovative capabilities. Based on these differences, the groups can be categorized into specific "innovation modes" (the innovator, the niche operator and the manufacturer), each mode being a step closer towards the innovative pharmaceutical firm. Second, the paper highlights how the emerging strategies of firms in all three groups, although different, underpin the importance of systemic coordination in the pharmaceutical sector. The analysis links both these findings to policies pursued in the pharmaceutical sector over the past four decades and highlights the role of differential innovation policy in ensuring optimal sectoral performance.

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872

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