Innovation lacking in Indian outsourcing vendors for Pharma and Biotech Industries

March 3, 2012: In India, the Pharmaceutical and biotech industries are considered as sunrise industries and there are many outsourcing services providers in this industry in India who provide outsourced services to many of the companies in the west. But a recent study has found that the services provided by outsourcing service providers to this industry lack innovation. It has observed that the number of patentable work that the companies have done is very little.

The Indian pharma industry is well known across the world and is quite big. The competency of the industry lies in the production of low cost generic drugs, which is used across the globe. Even though the industry has started working for discovery of new drugs, there has been no real drug discovery yet. The biotech industry in India is very small when compared with the pharma industry in the country.

There are large numbers of biotech and pharma companies in India providing outsourcing services to companies in the west. The main service that the Indian biotech and pharma companies provide is contract research. In an attempt to determine the number of discoveries made by Indian outsourcing service providers, the researchers looked into the foreign companies with drug patents who have outsourced drug discovery to Indian companies. The study found that out of 4094 patents, only 20 of them represented significant discoveries. This indicates that the discovery of drugs in India is poor.

The observation made by the study is a major concern to the industry and the government. The findings show that the Indian biotech and pharma industry are not capable enough to attract Research and Development work that are being outsourced by the companies in the west. Research and Development can be carried out in a much cost effective manner in India and it is considered that drugs developed in India will be cheaper.

The Pharma and Biotech companies in the US and Europe are interested in outsourcing their various operations to India, especially discovery science. Most of the scientists believe that the works that are outsourced to Indian service providers are basic in nature and are routine. The 20 inventions made by the Indian service providers are in the area of Chemistry and not biology. Over the last three years, no applications have been filed for obtaining patent. This indicates that innovation is not happening over the past few years. This shows that Indian pharma and biotech companies who undertake outsourced work have a long way to go in order to take up innovative works.

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