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Times of India
05 September 2011
Hyderabad, India

The Indian pharmaceutical industry has emerged as the third largest producer in the world by volume and is poised to grow to be a $20 billion industry by 2015 from its present turnover of $12 billion, President Pratibha Patil said here on Sunday.

Patil also lauded the role played by Indian pharma companies in bringing down the cost of treatment for various diseases globally while delivering her inaugural address at the 71st Congress of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) that is being held for the first time in India.

"Indian pharma companies have an extensive presence in many parts of the world and our pharmaceutical products are known to be of good quality, safety and efficacy. Indian generic drugs have helped bring down the cost of treatment of various diseases world-wide , which includes HIV/AIDS," she said.

Urging the Indian pharma industry to step up focus on research and development to combat new diseases, the President said India had the potential to emerge as a force to reckon with in global pharmaceutical research.

"With its proven IT sector, demonstrated leadership in biotechnology, a vast pool of trained personnel and cost advantages , India can emerge as a significant player in global pharmaceutical research. Several MNC pharma companies are increasingly making India their R&D hub."

"India already has the largest number of US FDA approved plants outside the US and is expected to be among the world's top five innovative hubs with contributions of around 50% to drugs discovered worldwide," Patil added. The President, however, cautioned against the menace of spurious drugs and called upon the Indian pharma industry to ensure that the quality and safety of drugs are not compromised.

"There are instances of spurious drugs, which are harmful to health, being produced. This is a crime and an unethical practice. It should not be left to the government alone to identify such unscrupulous producers and the industry must also have a wing to find out such practices and bring it to the notice of the government to take action," she said.

She also emphasized the need for proper prescription, dispensing and sale of drugs. "It is estimated that more than 50% of all medicines worldwide are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately. And 50% of the patients fail to take them correctly, leading to complications."

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