A report by Sagacious IP, global IP research and consulting firm reveals that India is among the top 10 countries in the pharma and healthcare sector with exponential growth recorded in the last five years. The report stated that patents with Indian publication having Indian priority grew from 2,548 in 2015 to 7,399 in 2020.
These numbers show the increased patent filing activity by Indian companies and MNCs with research centres based in India. In the last five years from over 24,000 in 2015 to over 1,50,000 in 2020, the pharma and healthcare sector has also seen immense growth in global patent filings.
India is among the top 10 countries, followed by Italy, Australia, Taiwan and Sweden in terms of the origin of patent applications in the pharma sector globally and the applications originating from India are majorly filed in the US, European Parliament and APAC region.
As per the report, the top Indian filers who filed patents in India during the last five years (2015-2020) are 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. These filings are being led by a research institute called CSIR. Among companies, ITC (ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre) is on top.
The pharmaceutical companies face major challenges dealing with IP rights and the competition provided by the generics. Along with that the other challenge is in developing approved drugs is the long time spent in research and the investments required for the same. Self-medication has been rampant due to increased awareness and digital connectivity, 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.
It said, 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.
India is one of the largest manufacturers of generic medicines and vaccines, holding 20 per cent and 62 per cent volume share, respectively