Healthcare management is about combining business with a humanitarian outlook. Ourpharmaceutical industry's prime role is to save and improve the quality of patients'lives. We are the custodians of healthcare and this is our key responsibility. Ciplafollows this principle apart from achieving our business objectives. Cipla believes thataccess to medicines at affordable prices is a fundamental human right and that none shouldbe denied medication not only in India but globally.
The pharma industry is different from other industries for two major reasons. Firstlymonopoly arising out of intellectual property rights which gives exclusivity andsecondly the high rate of obsolescence of drugs. Newer medications have to becontinuously innovated to enable long term progress.
The global pharma approach is to concentrate and focus essentially on newer drugsfuture pipeline and product portfolios R&D and innovation. Within this framework wein Cipla believe in the adaptation of appropriate innovative technologies which canimprove and facilitate healthcare in India.
Cipla started as an indigenous enterprise in 1935 committed to India's quest forself-sufficiency in healthcare. Today Cipla is a leading worldwide generic pharmaceuticalcompany with 46 state of the art manufacturing facilities and supplies quality medicinesto over 80 markets globally. Cipla started large scale manufacture of activepharmaceutical ingredients way back in the early 1960s and developed important life-savingformulations and devices based on this and covering many key therapies. We are currentlyranked among the 15 leading global generic drug producers. Cipla is now well positioned toextend its expertise from general generics to more complex generics and niche specialtyproducts.
In our overall R&D programme we are closely monitoring the repurposing andrepositioning of existing drugs. This interesting area of research includes prodrugsmetabolites liposomal drugs nano-particles enhancers boosters co-crystals chiraldrugs new polymorphs new fixed dose combinations newer indications newer deliverysystems and newer routes of drug administration. Again the ultimate objective is todevelop products for faster regulatory approvals in niche markets. A major example of thiswas in the area of HIV/ AIDS. Cipla introduced for the first time in the world a uniquefixed dose combination of three antiretroviral drugs under the name Triomune. Thisrepositioned drug saved millions of lives during the first decade of the current century.It is a testament to the immense potential this R&D holds for the continuing progressof our Company.
Today India is regarded as the Pharmacy capital of the world. The Indian pharmaindustry sales were valued at $33-billion in 2017 and are on course to touch $50-billionby 2020. India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally and the Indian pharmaindustry supplies 40% of the generic drug demand in the US. Exports of the Indian pharmasector are estimated to exceed $20-billion by 2020. India supplies well over 80% by volumeof all the HIV/AIDS drugs internationally. However of the seven billion people living onour planet the overwhelming majority of 6.2 billion live in the emerging and developingworld. Proper healthcare is only guaranteed to approximately 10% of the world'spopulation. The right to live should not be contingent on the ability to treat. We need toprovide affordable essential drugs to safeguard a stable and healthy India. No one in ourcountry should suffer because they cannot afford medicines diagnostics medical devicesor vaccines. India should also extend help in this area to other countries particularlyin Africa.
Given its population and disease burden basic healthcare in India will always requireurgent attention alongside advancements and newer technologies. It is thereforeall-important that government policies and strategies are formulated to cover our presentbasic needs and requirements of the country. India should formulate legislation onhealthcare to suit the specific needs of the indigenous pharma industry as also thehealthcare required in the country. An increase in the Government's public healthcareexpenditure is the need of the hour. We want all our countrymen to lead productive livesin good health thereby promoting the well-being of our country. To this end the flagshipnational health cover scheme of the Government is a very promising initiative. We shouldall work together to solve healthcare issues using appropriate technology and advancedscience. This will enable us to fulfil our dream of a productive and progressive India.
As always my sincere gratitude to all our stakeholders for your partnership in thisjourney of 'Caring for Life'. Your Cipla Board and leadership remain committed to ourpurpose even as we work towards creating and delivering value.