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Pharma Industry’s Wishlist for Budget 2024: R&D Incentives and Policy Boost

In anticipation of Budget 2024, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is making a strong plea for fiscal incentives to foster research and development (R&D). With aspirations to reach a market size of USD 400-450 billion by 2047, the sector emphasizes the need for continuous investments in R&D, citing high risk, a long gestation period, and low success rates.

Sudarshan Jain, the Secretary General of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, urged for the upcoming budget to outline conducive policies, offering benefits in terms of both direct and indirect taxes while facilitating ease of doing business for pharmaceutical companies. The industry, set to achieve USD 120-130 billion by 2030, seeks accelerated innovation and R&D to realize its ambitious growth targets.

The Promotion of Research & Innovation Program (PRIP) Scheme, introduced in 2023, was acknowledged as a positive step towards spurring innovation in the sector. Healthcare industry body NATHEALTH is advocating for increased healthcare spending to 2.5% of GDP and the rationalization of the GST framework. They aim to enhance the medical value travel segment, address MAT credit issues, and strengthen the healthcare value chain.

Budget 2024 should prioritize building local capabilities for healthcare services, even in remote regions, and localize the healthcare value chain. Expectations include a roadmap for long-term infrastructure financing, an increase in medical and nursing colleges, and fiscal reforms in the health insurance sector, according to Narayana Health Executive Vice Chairman Viren Shetty.

Metropolis Healthcare MD Ameera Shah seeks a zero per cent GST on diagnostic services and refunds for GST paid on inputs. With 60% of India’s diagnostics reliant on imports, Roche Diagnostics India MD Rishabh Gupta emphasizes the need for rationalizing import tariffs on healthcare products. The overarching goal is to prioritize affordable and accurate diagnostics, transforming India’s healthcare system for the better.

Reference is taken from Economic times

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