ImageThe Department of Pharmaceuticals has readied a white paper on promoting drug discovery platforms as part of an effort to make the country among the “top five pharma hubs” in the world.

To be titled ‘Vision 2020: Drug Discovery’, the department will implement the plan under a programme that will see an investment of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore a year till 2020, said Ashok Kumar, secretary of the department, at a discussion here on the sectoral situation.

“India should be among the top five pharma hubs by 2020 and we intend to achieve it through a specific programme,” said Kumar.

“This programme will see five million new direct jobs being created, apart from 10 times more indirect employment. By 2020, five out of every 10 drugs discovered in the world will be from India. The social impact of this will be cost effective cures.”

On the investment, he said, it would be done “under a public-private partnership (PPP) of $1-2 billion (Rs 5,000-6,000 crore) annually until 2020. We would also be promoting less costlier drugs under the programme”.

According to Kumar, the programme will include several revenue streams in the Indian pharma industry like research on patented drugs and contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) “Research on patented drugs and CRAMS have an impact of around Rs 1,000 crore on the GDP and can be tapped by the programme. We can position India as the cheapest hub for drug discovery by 2020.”

The department plans to organise, ‘Mission Indian Pharma’, an export-specific conference, later in the year, said Kumar.