India's biotechnology companies generated over US$1 billion in revenues this year, an annual increase of 40 per cent. Both public and private sectors are substantially increasing their investment in biotechnology.
One reason for this boost in investment is a law, effective from 1 January this year, that bans production of unlicensed generic (or non-brand name) drugs in India, reports K. S. Jayaraman.
Local companies will also face competition in India from powerful multinationals whose patents are being upheld in India for the first time. This means Indian drug companies will need to create innovative new drugs if they are to compete in a global market.
Finally, there are fears of a resource shortage — India imports almost all its research technology and has few scientists with enough practical training to undertake cutting-edge research. These problems, coupled with the 'brain drain' of scientific talent to other countries, could threaten India's biotechnology success.