Budget 2016: ‘Need to ensure India continues on growth path in healthcare R&D’

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It is important to ensure that India continues on the path of creating an enabling environment in India to encourage scientific temperament and research, the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR) has said.

“(The year) 2015 saw the introduction of a more rational, balanced and scientific regulatory framework being built for the conduct of clinical research in India with amendments in several rules and guidances. We need to ensure that we continue on the trajectory to build an enabling environment in India to encourage a scientific temperament and research,” Suneela Thatte, President, ISCR said.

Many other pharmaceutical and healthcare companies have asked for ensuring that the business environment in India remains conducive for companies to flourish, along with increased spending on scientific research, pushing healthcare-based start-up, bringing a simple tax structure in place, and so on.ALSO READ: What do healthcare companies want from FM Arun Jaitley?

“Given the fact that a sixth of the world’s population lives in India and we have the highest disease burden in the world, we need to foster an environment and ecosystem that encourages clinical research. We hope that healthcare research and development will be given an impetus in the budget,” she said.

Ensuring an environment for R&D and an ecosystem for clinical research will give a much-needed push to local innovation, thereby makiing the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make for India’ programmes a reality in the sector, Thatte said.

“There is path-breaking research being done in our academic institutions. We need to ensure that this is recognised and encouraged so that our patients can benefit from the access to better, safer and more affordable healthcare such research makes possible,” she said.

“We also hope that there will be a rethink on the withdrawal of exemption on service tax for clinical trials which was introduced two years ago. The withdrawal of the service tax exemption makes the process of drug development more expensive and acts as a deterrent to the culture of research and innovation that needs to be encouraged, in the domestic industry in particular.”