The Western world is pumping a huge amount of money into India for its pharmaceutical manufacturing. With the availability of cheap medical equipment and medicines, this increased R&D will definitely help with the reduction of diseases. This is why many countries have invested heavily in this sector and hope to see an increase in the number of life threatening diseases. But this does not mean that just because a large amount of money has been poured into India for research, it would automatically result in the production of the required medicines. A proper plan to increase R&D output needs to be chalked out first.
The main aim of Pharmaceutical Research is to produce medicines that can fight with diseases and help people lead healthy lives. However, this can only be possible if the necessary resources are available. There is a constant problem of oversupply of certain key drugs in the market. Often these drugs are manufactured by the foreign companies at a much higher cost than the local Indian firms. The cost differential is not at all acceptable by the local drug retail shops. It is very important to increase R&D spend in India since the cost of doing business in India is far lower than what it costs in the West.
If you want to see any significant increase in the R&D spend in India then the first thing that you should do is to look at the causes of ailments. For instance, a rise in population means that there will be more demand for more drugs. In the developing countries like India, this is often not the case. So instead of looking at the absolute numbers, look at the trends. What has caused the price of drugs to increase significantly over the last few years?
The answer is simple – the increase in development and R&D spend means that more diseases will become resistant to existing drugs. The World Health Organization has warned repeatedly that drug resistant infections will cause health problems on an international scale. It is estimated that by the year 2021 there will be more drug-resistant infections than HIV/AIDS. And that will translate into more people with HIV. And more people with AIDS will mean more people will be diagnosed and will become infected with the disease.
Drugs are very expensive but the question is how to prevent the spread. You need a comprehensive strategy. That means reducing the number of people getting infected and also reducing the death rate. All this needs a coordinated approach from the national level to the community level.
There are some promising research projects in India on drugs for AIDS. The government is eager to launch such projects but they have to be supported by an international agency. If the agency is committed, the results can be phenomenal. The other way around will simply not work.