The DoP said that institutes may take a fixed percentage of (2% to 9.5%) equity in startup/spin-off companies in exchange of the services and facilities they provide
It is aimed at promoting the Indian pharma sector as the global leader for quality medicines and ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of drugs and medical devices in India
The DoP will also be launching a policy to catalyse research & development and innovation in the pharma-medtech sector in the country
To fund and promote innovation in startups in the pharma sector, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has suggested the allocation of a fixed percentage of not less than 1% of the annual budget of institutes.
The DoP said that institutes may take a fixed percentage of (2% to 9.5%) equity in startup/spin-off companies in exchange for the services and facilities they provide, according to its ‘common guidelines on pharmaceutical innovation and entrepreneurship’ for academic institutions.
The DoP has prepared the standard guidelines to encourage innovation and research and to facilitate entrepreneurship in the National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs).
The DoP will also be launching a policy to catalyse research & development and innovation in the pharma-medtech sector in the country.
The National Innovation and Startup Policy 2019 for students and faculty of Higher Education Institutions is a guiding framework to enable the institutes to actively engage students, faculties and staff in innovation and entrepreneurship-related activities.
The National IPR Policy 2016 is a vision document that encompasses and brings to a single platform all IPRs. It views IPRs holistically, taking into account all inter-linkages and aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies.
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“The policy aims to transform the academic research into innovative and commercially applicable technologies/products; build a strong ecosystem for nurturing creativity and entrepreneurial activities and contribute to the self-reliant India mission (AatmaNirbhar Bharat),” the statement said.
For institutes, the availability of resources needs to be ensured for pre-incubation and providing common facilities as part of the institute’s financial strategy for prospective inventors and entrepreneurs, as per the guidelines.
According to the guidelines, the entrepreneurial initiatives shall be evaluated on a regular basis using well-defined impact assessment parameters such as IP filed, products developed and commercialised and the number of employment generated, and startups created.
Overall, the aim is to promote the Indian pharma sector as the global leader for quality medicines and to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of drugs and medical devices in the country.
No doubt, the government is bringing reforms in the country to improve health infrastructure in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, however, the sector is marred by abysmally low spending on healthcare, poor doctor-patient ratio, ill-equipped hospitals, insufficient number of labs and diagnostic facilities and infrastructure, lack of access to hospitals, absence of medical records of patients and so on.
There is less than one doctor per 1,000 people in India, while the World Health Organisation recommends at least one doctor per 1,000 people. The picture of healthcare workers, including nurses, is not satisfactory.
The public spending on healthcare, as a percentage of GDP, was a mere 1.2% before Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a huge increase in the Budget 2021.
However, the healthtech sector has shown some signs of improvement with four startups – Innovaccer, Pharmeasy, Curefit and Pristyn Care – becoming unicorns in 2021.