India is among the top 10 countries in pharma and healthcare sector with exponential growth recorded in the last five years, according to a report by Sagacious IP, a global IP research and consulting firm.
The report stated that patents with Indian publication having Indian priority grew from 2,548 in 2015 to 7,399 in 2020.
Such numbers are indicative of increased patent filing activity by Indian companies and MNCs with research centres based in India. The pharma and healthcare sector has also seen massive growth in global patent filings in the last five years, from over 24,000 in 2015 to over 1,50,000 in 2020.
In terms of the origin of patent applications in the pharma sector globally, India is among the top 10 countries, followed by Italy, Australia, Taiwan and Sweden. The applications originating from India are majorly filed in the US, European Parliament and APAC region.
The top Indian filers who filed patents in India during the last five years (2015-2020) include the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), ITC Life Sciences, Lovely Professional University, Colgate Palmolive (India), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Limited, IIT Bombay, Cadila Healthcare, Lupin, Amity University, and Wockhardt Limited, the report said.
CSIR, a research institute, leads in these filings. Among companies, ITC (ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre) is on top.
The report stated that pharmaceutical companies face major challenges dealing with IP rights and the competition provided by the generics. Further, the biggest challenge in developing approved drugs is the long time spent in research and the investments required for the same.
Also, due to increased awareness and digital connectivity, self-medication has been rampant, which does not go down well in terms of returns on R&D and IP investments in drug discovery.
Recently, the industry has shown a focus shift towards preventive healthcare and therefore the players must align with this shift.
Lastly, stringent guidelines by governments globally and low returns on generics are the other few limiting factors to R&D in this sector.
On a positive side, India is notably a preferred destination and market for healthcare innovation as is evident by global companies securing many of their global patents in India, it said.
India is one of the largest manufacturers of generic medicines and vaccines, holding 20 per cent and 62 per cent volume share, respectively.