By: Priyanka Singh, Director, Taj Pharma

Priyanka is the Director Taj Pharma India and founder of an Agro company "Taj Agro Products"
Priyanka Singh Director Taj Pharma India

Priyanka is the founder of an Agro company “Taj Agro Products” which deals in the commodity sector and Food Industry in India and abroad. She has played a pivotal role in the decade transformational journey of the generic pharmaceutical company, Taj Pharma Group. An accomplished business leader with extensive experience in international healthcare business development, start-ups and turnarounds, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, Priyanka in many ways led Taj Pharma’s transformation journey, where she contributed significantly to the company’s strategy and philosophy for MENA and Africa Region.

In a conversation with Women Entrepreneur Magazine. Priyanka shares her views about the health measures that need to be taken in 2023 and also talks about how a company’s strategy can change over time as it grows.

Introduction

The affordability of healthcare services is an issue that affects societies worldwide. In this article, we will explore the challenges and potential solutions related to the non-affordability of healthcare services. Priyanka Singh, Director of Taj Pharma, provides her insights on this critical matter.

The Impact of Technology on Healthcare

Technology has been a game-changer in the healthcare sector. Priyanka highlights some significant technology trends that have a profound impact on medicine and healthcare:

1. Robotic Hands in Manufacturing

One notable trend is the incorporation of ‘Robotic hands’ in the manufacturing sector. These robotic hands have revolutionized the packing process, ensuring zero defects, and significantly increasing machine output.

2. Empowered Patient Leaflets

Patient leaflets now come equipped with QR codes, offering patients access to more information about their medications. This innovation empowers patients to make informed decisions about their health and medications.

3. Healthcare Apps

Various apps are available for managing health conditions such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and monitoring pregnancy progress. These apps put health management in the hands of the individual, promoting a proactive approach to healthcare.

4. High-Quality Packaging

The packaging of pharmaceutical products has seen significant improvements. Taj Pharma prioritizes high standards and adheres to export guidelines. This includes providing braille reading embossed boxes, recycle-bin packaging, and clear marks for a better customer experience.

5. The Post-COVID Technological Revolution

The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed a technological revolution in healthcare. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D printing are reshaping the healthcare sector.

In addition to these trends, the development of gene-targeting therapies like CAR-T therapy and the emergence of nutraceutical products are noteworthy advancements that hold the potential to transform the pharmaceutical sector.

The Role of Research and Development

Continuous research and development supported by emerging technology play a pivotal role in bringing positive changes to the pharmaceutical industry. With a reliance on the latest technology, the industry can produce high-quality medications at affordable prices.

Developing a Business Plan

Priyanka shares her perspective on the most challenging aspects of developing a business plan in the pharmaceutical sector:

Understanding and adhering to stringent Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is crucial. These procedures are continually evolving and changing, necessitating constant updates to align with international FDA norms.

Priyanka emphasizes the importance of hiring talented individuals and building strong teams. In her experience, investing in talent and team development has been instrumental in achieving success.

She views her journey as a fulfilling one, marked by learning and expertise development. Despite the challenges and uncertainties, she cherishes the ups and downs as integral parts of her entrepreneurial journey.

Health Measures for 2023

In Priyanka’s opinion, non-affordability is a significant societal challenge. Access to healthcare is a fundamental right, and it’s crucial to make it accessible to all. She cites an ancient text that emphasizes the importance of good health for all.

Post-COVID, there is an urgent need to strengthen the public health system. This involves effective monitoring, awareness campaigns, and preventive and curative actions. It also includes strengthening the roles of ASHA, Anganwadi, and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife workers.

Priyanka suggests adopting models like “Mohalla Clinics of Delhi” and drawing inspiration from the “National Health Service – NHS” in England to create an effective healthcare system in rural areas.

She believes in connecting rural India’s healthcare system with mainstream initiatives, leveraging existing infrastructures like the postal system to promote health awareness programs.

The Vision for Affordable Healthcare

Priyanka’s vision for the pharmaceutical industry includes:

  1. Ensuring essential medicines are accessible to all.
  2. Paying royalties to brand originators while keeping medicine prices within reach for low-income families.
  3. Promoting generic drugs through government initiatives and private pharmacies.

Evolution of Company Strategy

The evolution of a company’s strategy is a dynamic process. Priyanka describes how Taj Pharma’s strategy has changed over time as it has grown:

In the initial decade, the focus was on building a strong foundation, improving product quality, and establishing distribution networks.

As the company gained market exposure, it turned its attention to international markets and invested in research and development.

Taj Pharma values a blend of experienced and young minds, encouraging innovation in various aspects of the pharmaceutical industry.

Overcoming Barriers

As a female leader in the pharmaceutical sector, Priyanka has faced challenges, but she doesn’t see them as obstacles. She believes in the power of learning and adaptability.

Organizing daily operations in a manufacturing unit, managing staff, and maintaining strict adherence to SOPs can be demanding. However, Priyanka’s commitment to her work and her ability to navigate these challenges have been key to her success.

In conclusion, the non-affordability of healthcare services is indeed a significant societal challenge. However, with the integration of technology, a focus on research and development, and visionary leaders like Priyanka Singh, the pharmaceutical industry is moving towards a future where high-quality healthcare is not just a privilege but a fundamental right for all.

FAQs

1. How can technology help improve healthcare affordability?

Technology can significantly enhance healthcare affordability in several ways:

  • Telemedicine: Telehealth services allow patients to consult with healthcare professionals remotely, reducing the need for physical visits and associated costs.
  • Health Apps: Mobile apps can provide health monitoring, medication reminders, and wellness guidance, empowering individuals to manage their health more cost-effectively.
  • Electronic Health Records (EHRs): EHR systems streamline administrative tasks, reduce paperwork, and minimize errors, leading to cost savings for healthcare providers and patients.
  • AI and Data Analytics: Artificial intelligence can help predict health trends, optimize treatment plans, and identify cost-saving opportunities.
  • Remote Monitoring Devices: Wearable devices and sensors enable continuous monitoring of vital signs, allowing for early intervention and reduced healthcare costs in the long run.

2. What are some innovative healthcare models for rural areas?

Innovative healthcare models for rural areas include:

  • Mobile Clinics: Mobile healthcare units equipped with medical professionals and necessary equipment can reach remote areas, providing essential care.
  • Telehealth Services: Telemedicine connects rural patients with doctors from urban centers, overcoming geographic barriers.
  • Community Health Workers: Trained community health workers can provide basic healthcare, health education, and referrals in rural communities.
  • Hub-and-Spoke Model: Establishing central hubs with specialized medical services and connecting them to smaller rural clinics through telemedicine can ensure access to specialized care.
  • Health Awareness Camps: Conducting health awareness and screening camps in rural areas promotes early detection and prevention.

3. What is the role of research and development in the pharmaceutical industry?

Research and development (R&D) are fundamental in the pharmaceutical industry for several reasons:

  • Drug Discovery: R&D drives the discovery of new drugs and treatments, addressing unmet medical needs.
  • Quality Improvement: It leads to the enhancement of existing drugs, making them safer and more effective.
  • Regulatory Compliance: R&D ensures that pharmaceutical companies adhere to strict regulatory standards set by agencies like the FDA.
  • Innovation: R&D fosters innovation in drug formulation, delivery methods, and therapies.
  • Competitive Advantage: Pharmaceutical companies invest in R&D to maintain a competitive edge in the market and bring novel products to market.

4. How can businesses adapt their strategies as they grow?

Businesses can adapt their strategies as they grow by:

  • Market Research: Continuously assessing market trends and customer preferences.
  • Scaling Operations: Expanding infrastructure, production, and distribution networks to meet increased demand.
  • Diversification: Exploring new product lines or markets to reduce risk.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Acquiring or merging with other companies to broaden offerings or market reach.
  • Customer Feedback: Listening to customer feedback and adapting products or services accordingly.
  • Financial Management: Adjusting financial strategies, such as budgeting and investment, to support growth.

5. What are the key challenges in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector?

Key challenges in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector include:

  • Stringent Regulations: Adhering to complex and evolving regulatory requirements, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Quality Assurance: Ensuring product quality, consistency, and safety throughout the manufacturing process.
  • Cost Control: Managing the high costs of research, development, and production, which can impact drug pricing.
  • Supply Chain Complexity: Maintaining a reliable and efficient supply chain for raw materials and distribution.
  • Competition: Facing competition from generic drug manufacturers and other pharmaceutical companies.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: Protecting intellectual property rights and managing patent expirations.

Source: Women Entrepreneur India