Article | February 1, 2012

Pharma Beyond Borders: India As An Outsourcing Destination

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By Manoj Mehrotra, vice president and global head of CPS business, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd.

The only thing that is constant in life (and that goes for the global pharma industry too!) is change. The need to access emerging markets with new and cost effective drugs, the diminishing blockbuster product model, and the far more complicated life cycle management programs are just some of the new and ever changing challenges that innovator pharmaceutical companies face in today's environment. This is amplified by the increasing cost pressures from the side of healthcare players for both governments and health care providers alike. However, what has remained unchanged in the industry is the need to deliver high-quality, efficacious, and cost-effective medicine to patients while delivering high-value returns to the investors.

One solution is to reduce overheads and costs associated with discovery, development and manufacture. This can be achieved in three ways, firstly by implementing technology to aid process improvements, secondly by manufacturing in low cost geographies and thirdly by outsourcing these activities to third party companies which have specialized and niche capabilities.

Outsourcing the development and manufacturing of drugs to India offers speed, flexibility and cost reductions. Many outsourcing service providers in India have the capability to supply both small-scale clinical trial quantities and commercial-scale requirements. Their end-to-end services, including some niche technology offerings, competitive pricing and global presence very often offers a compelling value proposition to drug innovators. The leading outsourcing players in India are thus uniquely positioned to become the preferred partners for innovators.

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