Is Drug Development in India Responsive to the Disease Burden?

Abstract

The Indian pharmaceutical industry has played an important role in the development of generic medicines and biosimilars (Farmer 2001). However, whether patients who are heavily dependent on the public sector, benefi t from this advancement made by the sector is a critical question for several reasons. First, as it is well known, the bulk of these generic drugs are exported to international markets and are inaccessible in India (Swain et al 2014). Second is the dominance of branded generics in the market, which are priced signifi cantly higher than their corresponding generics (Mathew 2015). Third, the quality of essential generic medicines that are available in the public sector has also been under question (Bate et al 2009). Most importantly, we still do not suffi ciently know whether medicine development in India is informed of the public health priorities of the country and the emerging disease burden