Injectable Medicine Is a High-Growth Market

Roopesh Madan, Vice President - Information Technology, Claris Lifesciences Limited | Thursday, 28 May 2015, 09:27 IST

Claris Lifesciences Limited (BSE: 533288) is an Indian sterile injectables pharmaceutical company. It is primarily a manufacturing and marketing company of a range of products across various therapeutic segments, including anesthesia, critical care, renal care, enteral nutrition and oncology. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujrat, the company has a market cap of Rs 904.19 Crore.

Finding a good doctor on time is one of the primary requirements of a developed society. However, in India, this process is not yet up to speed as people still have to rely on "word-of-mouth" for seeking out a good doctor. With the population moving across towns and cities, it becomes imperative that they have access to information regarding credibility of a doctor and healthcare facility. The need of the hour is to find a way to enable an ecosystem that allows LinkedIn or a Face book kind of profile for a good doctor and healthcare facility while preserving the privacy of the patient who shares his/her experience. With social media and cloud infrastructure on the rise, we believe that the same should be leveraged to enable a patient to seek out a good doctor and healthcare facility. Lack of advertisement rights for medical professionals is keeping the good work - which the healthcare professionals are putting in - out of reach of genuine and needy people.

Organ donation also needs a lot of awareness and social communication to become a life enhancing (eg. eye, liver, kidney donation) and life saving contributor. A recent incident in Chennai, where with the precise coordination between surgeons of two hospitals and the city traffic police, a medical team transported a heart from Government General Hospital to Fortis Malar Hospitals in Adyar, about 12km away, in less than 14 minutes by creating a red-light free access (called "green corridor") became national new. While appreciating this, it is a matter of concern whether such things can be made a routine occurrence in our daily lives. Can there be a "108" kind of facility used for organ donation and receiver match competency? Will it be possible to connect an accident site and nearby hospital site with information and provide that to someone in need in another hospital?

The Injectables Market

The use of injectable medicines which are injected into blood directly is increasing in India. This offers faster recovery and convenience to patients. Certain lifestyle related diseases like cancer are also treated with injectable medicines. There is a need to continuously educate the medical fraternity about its scientific and clinical research related information which is useful to them in their profession. So far such information used to be provided to them in the physical form, but with the advent of tablets, such information can be updated across the field force much faster and is effective in catching their attention. The lifesciences industry in India is still a toddler as most of the companies in the sector are less than 10 years old. Both India and injectable are high-growth markets. In India, the market's growth rate is 13.7%. The injectable market is valued at US$147 billion and generic injectables is about 40% of this.

Effects of Technical Development in the Pharma Industry

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most regulated ones, therefore it is governed by programmes like Good Automated Manufacturing Practices (GAMP) from an IT context as well as they also need to be compliant with pharmaceutical regulatory eco-system that minimizes change management to bring stability and predictability in the quality of the medicines.

This introduces challenges in the pace of introduction of new technologies. Also, the manufacturing equipments are generally designed to work for 15 to 20 years, whereas the accompanying computer technology retires in 5 to 7 years. This adds up the challenge to maintain the older technologies by manufacturers themselves. So while new technology is generally helpful in many aspects, it ensues unique challenges to the pharmaceutical industry.

Overcoming Challenges

There is a lack of wholesome IT platforms that can become a backbone to cater to commercial, regulatory, manufacturing as well as market analytics. We therefore go for best-of-breed approaches and integrate such discrete solutions as per the requirements. Technology will help pharmaceutical companies overcome the big challenges. Clinical trials are becoming more adaptive by incorporating signal detection technologies and more efficient in terms of global supply chain and forecasting.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are accountable for the medicines until they are consumed by the patients, however, visibility of the inventory across the entire supply chain is a challenge, specially at stockists / hospital level, since all of them have stand-alone solutions which are not designed to be a part of larger information sharing eco-system.

Harbouring Innovation

We believe that innovation comes with increasing adoption and usage of technology. "iFuel" is an IT Culture Building programme in the organization that identifies the emerging habits of IT user and shaping them to form best work practices. It is an integral part of myClaris – Company's intranet platform and has been a useful contributor in Claris achieving "Best places to work" award for five consecutive times in India.

A new approach to innovativeness together with a value proposition strategy aims to deliver high quality products to patients. Companies and organizations are beginning to invest in technology for standardization and R&D productivity as well as their marketing operations.

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