While elucidating their utility, explain why the biological drugs are called the future of medicine? Analyze the impediments to make India a hub for manufacturing biological drugs.

Biologics or bio therapeutics are a class of drugs which are made out of proteins and peptides. It is the fastest growing sector in pharma industry, there are more than 200 biologics in the market and several others in the trial phase and awaiting approval which show, biologics are the future of medicine counting on their wide range of uses. Biologics have high target specificity. They generally have the minimal safety or toxicity issues. The ability to treat the untreatable and rare diseases like cancer is the key factor why the innovations in biologics is being encouraged. The improved technology and equipment used in manufacture is also providing impetus to the growth of the sector.
Indian bio therapeutic market has been growing over the past few years since its first product used for head and neck cancer.
The availability of technology and required apparatus could be handled by government’s strategic deals which include sharing of knowledge.
The costs of production and the equipment costs which tantamount to huge sums is a major hindrance. This could be solved by incentivising producers and subsidising the equipment costs.
The high price of the biologics can be handled well when policy makers makes laws that allow biosimilars which could be made available at cheaper prices. Patents for many biologics are due for expiry before 2020 and the opportunity to file new ones should be grabbed in time.
India, when played its cards right, will emerge as a hub for manufacturing the biological drugs. Taking into consideration the improvement in ease of doing business, make in India initiative, it is not a far-fetched dream

Question for UPSC Mains:
While elucidating their utility, explain why the biological drugs are called the future of medicine? Analyze the impediments to make India a hub for manufacturing biological drugs. [Business Standard]

Published: December 27, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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