A descriptive study of new drug approvals during 2017-2021 and disease morbidity and mortality patterns in India

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Aim: Studies show the presence of a mismatch between drug research and disease burden. A study conducted in the European Union found that new drug development was restricted to certain diseases. A study of biosimilar approvals in India found that 87% of drugs were for treating noncommunicable diseases. This study aimed to determine the new drugs approved in India from 2017 to 2021 and the top ten causes of morbidity and mortality and detect the presence of any discordance between these. Methods: A descriptive study was conducted using data on new drug approvals accessed from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization website. The top ten causes of mortality and morbidity in India from 2015 to 2019 were identified from the Global Burden of Diseases database. Descriptive statistics were used to compare the drug approvals and the leading diseases. Results: One hundred twenty-six drugs were approved during the study period. Antineoplastic drugs constituted 19.84% of the approvals, antimicrobials 18.25%, and cardiovascular drugs 9.52%. Ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the two leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Diarrheal diseases, lower respiratory tract infection, and drug-susceptible tuberculosis were among the top ten causes. Ten antibacterials, including four antitubercular drugs, were approved during this period. Two drugs were approved for rare diseases. Conclusion: Our study showed that the drugs approved were largely in line with the prevalent disease burden, and there was no significant discordance observed. Some diseases, such as ischemic stroke/intracranial hemorrhage, require further efforts in bringing forth newer pharmacotherapy options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalPerspectives in Clinical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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