India is fast becoming one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets worldwide, with the potential to reach over $370bn by 2022 according to The Economic Times. With an increased ageing population, numbers of lifestyle diseases are beginning to rise, in addition to escalating healthcare and insurance costs which continually impact present healthcare services.
A recent paper titled 'Indian Healthcare Sector-An overview,' by ASSOCHAM and RNCOS has said: "Growing incidence of lifestyle diseases, rising demand for affordable healthcare delivery systems due to increasing healthcare costs, technological advancements, emergence of telemedicine, rapid health insurance penetration, mergers and acquisitions helping to reach untapped markets and government initiatives like e-health together with tax benefits, incentives and a host of upcoming regulatory policies are driving healthcare market in India."
The Indian government contribution to insurance is approximately 30%, which is in stark comparison to the United Kingdom’s which sits at over 80% by comparison. This has therefore priced a majority of the Indian population out of the market and has led to hospitals and healthcare services being under-financed and under-utilised.
With growing gaps in employment, India is additionally witnessing a significant increase in health-tech start-ups and the implementation of medical devices, telemedicine services, online patient services and remote diagnostics within its acute healthcare facilities.
The country’s ‘Digital India’ programme encompasses the growth of the country’s digital healthcare infrastructure and use of digital platforms and mobile technologies.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) are also behind the launch of an Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP). The program will see the implementation of essential standards within the installation of electronic health records (EHR), providing increased transparency and utilisation of data through one central platform.
Furthermore, significant investment is being placed within India’s research and development capabilities and partnerships with foreign partners in order to develop and lessen the time to bring new drugs to market.
Recent foreign investment has come from companies such as Temasek, who will be acquiring a 16% stake in Manipal Hospitals, as well as Practo Technologies Pvt Ltd, who have raised $55mn in series D funding, led by Chinese investment company, Tencent Holdings Ltd, in order to expand its service offerings.