With strong R&D capabilities and a highly educated workforce at the right price, India presents an attractive alternative to European manufacturers facing increased costs at home. Add the growing domestic pharmaceutical market and India looks like the perfect location for a partnership.
But anyone who has worked in India knows that it’s not that simple. Any commercial alliance is complicated; introduce the cultural and regulatory differences between India and Europe and potential partners face significant challenges.
Thomas Honohan, a partner with Pharmaceutical Development Risk Management (PDRM), provides pharma businesses with a view of regulatory and technical risks to help them increase success rates for product registration. According to Honohan, Western and Indian companies have very different reasons for entering partnerships. “Europeans are looking for speed and cost savings. Indian companies are looking to gain access to Europe and to increase their capabilities. These differences drive different behaviours and can cause misunderstandings and misalignment of priorities.”
Dr Miliind Antani agrees that a mismatch of expectations can lead to unhealthy relationships. As head of the Pharma and Life Sciences practice at Nishith Desai Associates, a law firm specialising in international deals and regulation, he believes that getting partnership objectives agreed is crucial. “Developing a clear understanding of the mutual benefits will reduce possible issues and concerns. If the objectives are discussed well, it should not be very difficult to overcome problems.”
Honohan and Antani will be speaking about how to avoid the pitfalls of partnering in India during a one-hour webinar to be hosted by PTE in partnership with FDASmart, a firm delivering US FDA regulatory compliance education globally. Topics tackled will include negotiation, relationship management and differences in Western and Indian legal and regulatory.
Despite the problems that will be discussed during the session, both speakers are keen to point out that partnering in India is well worth the effort.
“It is not only worth it,“ says Honohan, “but essential for European companies to partner with India to access Asian markets as these are the fasted growing markets for pharma; to access the capability and capacity required as companies change their business models to become more ‘virtual and flexible’; to access innovative ways of thinking about customer needs, product development and marketing.
Dr Antanis says any problems are manageable and definitely not deal breakers. “India promises excellent opportunities and has multiple advantages like cost benefit, innovative thinking and a huge market.”
You can register for the webinar by clicking here.