India needs regulatory data protection to attract drug research: Novartis CEO

India needs regulatory data protection to attract drug research: Novartis CEO

India should have a regulatory data protection system in place to attract fundamental drug research from major pharmaceutical companies in the world, Novartis Chief Executive Officer Vasant Narasimhan said on Friday here. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the life sciences conclave ‘BioAsia 2023’ being held here, Narasimhan said great work has been done to streamline Intellectual Property (IP) issues which can be further improved.

“I think the next step is when you think about how we generate data and how protected that is in regulatory filings. India does not have regulatory data protection,” he said replying to a query.

If one looks at any place in the world where there is significant fundamental drug research happening from multinational firms, there is regulatory data protection, including China, Narasimhan further said.

The Novartis CEO added that getting approvals for clinical trials used to be very difficult in India earlier. However, with the new policy, the process has been streamlined.

According to him, India has the opportunity to attract fundamental drug research if it continues to strengthen IP and regulatory data protection environments in the long run.

“I think that should be the aspiration for India in the longer term. The national policy environment needs to evolve to support that,” he said.

On Novartis’ Drug Development Centre in Hyderabad, Narasimhan said currently it has over 9,000 employees, including 3200, in drug development projects.

(With inputs from health)