India exported more than 65 million doses of Covid vaccines to nearly 100 countries this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, asserting that the global trust earned by the Indian healthcare sector has led to the country being called the “pharmacy of the world”.
Speaking after inaugurating the first global innovation summit of the pharmaceutical sector, Modi said India’s vision is to create an eco-system for innovation that will make the country a leader in drug discovery and innovative medical devices.
“Our policy interventions are being made based on wide consultations with all stakeholders,” he said.
Employing nearly three million people and with a trade surplus of USD 13 billion, the pharma sector is a key driver of India’s economic growth, Modi said.
India’s healthcare sector attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) of over USD 12 billion since 2014 and there is potential for much more, he said.
He called upon the industry to work to ramp up domestic manufacturing of key ingredients for vaccines and medicines, saying “this is one frontier that India has to conquer”.
Noting that India has a large pool of scientists and technologists with a potential to take the industry to greater heights, Modi said this strength needs to be harnessed to “discover and make in India”.
“Today, when 1.3 billion people of India have taken it upon themselves to make India ‘aatmanirbhar’, we must think about ramping up domestic manufacturing of key ingredients for vaccines and medicines,” he asserted.
“I invite you all to ideate in India, innovate in India, make in India and make for the world. Discover your true strength and serve the world,” Modi said in his remarks at the summit.
He noted that whether it is lifestyle, or medicines, or medical technology, or vaccines, every aspect of healthcare has received global attention over the last two years.
In this context, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has also risen to the challenge, Modi said.
The global trust earned by the Indian healthcare sector has led to India being called the “pharmacy of the world” in recent times, he said.
“We exported lifesaving medicines and medical equipment to over 150 countries during the initial phase of the pandemic,” Modi said.
“We have also exported more than 65 million doses of Covid vaccines to nearly 100 countries this year,” the prime minister said, adding that India will do much more as it ramps up its capacity.
He asserted that India’s definition of well-ness is not limited by physical boundaries and it believes in the well-being of the entire humankind.
“And, we have shown this spirit to the whole world during the COVID-19 global pandemic,” he said.
The two-day summit will have 12 sessions and over 40 national and international speakers will deliberate on a range of subjects, including regulatory environment, funding for innovation, industry-academia collaboration and innovation infrastructure, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).