The impact of the Union Budget on pharma and packaging

Chakravarthi AVPS, CEO and managing director, Ecobliss India explains what the Union Budget has in store for the pharma industry and how it will impact the future.

02 Feb 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

Chakravarthi AVPS, CEO and managing director, Ecobliss India

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres recently applauded India for supplying Covid-19 doses to nations around the world and endorsed the statement ‘India, pharmacy of the world’, supplying essential medicines to the world.

As the world faces the most unprecedented Healthcare challenges, it’s time to catch up and respond to them.

“The union budget gave a boost to the healthcare sector in India. There has been an increase of 137% in the overall Health Budget as compared to the previous year. We must agree that the allocation of Rs 64,000-crore under the new Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana scheme and Rs 35,000-crore for Covid-19 vaccine is certainly a major fillip to the industry.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is already undergoing significant growth, at the same time the pharma industry will continue to face the challenges from the past experiences. Industry has to address critical demands from developing countries, challenges in meeting regulatory requirements from emerging countries, growing counterfeits in the international market and so on.

Pharma packaging has to and will rapidly evolve in the next few years to meet these challenges, and we can see that in all the categories of packaging — primary, secondary and tertiary apart from labelling. Well, the print industry will grow as well as it has almost become an integral part of packaging.

We can witness demand to meet adequate packaging requirements for the increasingly complex formulations, meeting ever changing patient centricity requirements, emphasis and drug safety and efficacy meeting challenging regulatory requirements. These are real challenges before the pharmaceutical industry and so the packaging industry as well.

Packaging not only helps safeguard the drug but also helps patients to comply as per the prescribed dosage. Upgrading the quality of packaging is equally important to boost quality and safety of the medicines. This is true for regulatory and non-regulatory markets as well.

The approach of the pharmaceutical industry today is more user-centric and has personalised focus evolving from traditional methods. Sensitive and potent drugs are on the rise. The designing of packaging and its labelling is being decided right at the product development keeping in view convenience, safety, patient adherence and so on.

Packaging can actually play key role in protecting the gamut of pharmaceutical supply chain. Swift and effective communication among all the stake holders — industry, users, and regulatory/ controlling/ clearing authorities is possible by adopting best packaging practices.

Translating a user-friendly design (which has become a primary requirement now) into adhering all technical specifications and addressing multiple user groups in the broadest sense, is always a challenge. Especially when you need to consider people of different culture, habits, age, language their ability so on.

The future packaging is multidimensional, not that it was never the case before. As an integral part of the customer experience, packaging will require to live up to the expectations of product performance, visible tamper evident features, vocal on sustainability attributes and an enabler towards distribution of fresh and preserved products.

Pharma packaging is evolving on the lines of the pharma industry, which has a profound impact across the whole supply chain. The industry rose to the occasion during the pandemic period and will continue to evolve meeting newer challenges, thereby overall industry will witness an unprecedented growth.

Industry Speak

Ankit Tanna, Printmann Group, Navi Mumbai: "The Budget will definitely be a big boost for Indian pharmaceutical product consumption. Pill popping as a culture will definitely be enhanced in the years to come.

Swadesh Sharma, Atharva Packaging, Indore: "During Covid-19, the Indian pharma companies did remarkably, and now Indian vaccinations programme has increased our credibility in the world. With Aatmanirbhar Bharat all industries will boost, resulting in demand for packaging. It’s the right time to invest and increase production capacity for quantity and quality production."