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Indian Pharmaceutical Industry


“The Indian pharmaceutical industry is a success story providing employment for millions and ensuring that essential drugs at affordable prices are available to the vast population of this sub-continent.”
Richard Gerster

The Indian Pharmaceutical Industry today is in the front rank of India’s science-based industries with wide ranging capabilities in the complex field of drug manufacture and technology. It ranks very high in the third world, in terms of technology, quality and range of medicines manufactured. From simple headache pills to sophisticated antibiotics and complex cardiac compounds, almost every type of medicine is now made indigenously.

Playing a key role in promoting and sustaining development in the vital field of medicines, Indian Pharma Industry boasts of quality producers and many units approved by regulatory authorities in USA and UK. International companies associated with this sector have stimulated, assisted and spearheaded this dynamic development in the past 53 years and helped to put India on the pharmaceutical map of the world.

Growth Scenario in 2010

India's pharmaceutical industry is now the third largest in the world in terms of volume. Its rank is 14th in terms of value. Between September 2008 and September 2009, the total turnover of India's pharmaceuticals industry was US$ 21.04 billion. The domestic market was worth US$ 12.26 billion. This was reported by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. As per a report by IMS Health India, the Indian pharmaceutical market reached US$ 10.04 billion in size in July 2010. A highly organized sector, the Indian Pharma Industry is estimated to be worth $ 4.5 billion, growing at about 8 to 9 percent annually. Know more out this in our article on Indian Pharmaceutical Industry- Future Trends Also check out Pharmaceutical Market Trends 2010

Leading Pharmaceutical Companies

In the domestic market, Cipla retained its leadership position with 5.27 per cent share. Ranbaxy followed next. The highest growth was for Mankind Pharma (37.2%). Other leading companies in the Indian pharma market in 2010 are:
  • Sun Pharma (25.7%)
  • Abbott (25%)
  • Zydus Cadila (24.1%)
  • Alkem Laboratories (23.3%)
  • Pfizer (23.6 %)
  • GSK India (19%)
  • Piramal Healthcare (18.6 %)
  • Lupin (18.8 %)
For details check out List of Top 10 Pharmaceutical Companies in India

Future Prospects

The Indian pharmaceuticals market is expected to reach US$ 55 billion in 2020 from US$ 12.6 billion in 2009. This was stated in a report title "India Pharma 2020: Propelling access and acceptance, realising true potential" by McKinsey & Company. In the same report, it was also mentioned that in an aggressive growth scenario, the pharma market has the further potential to reach US$ 70 billion by 2020

Due to increase in the population of high income group, there is every likelihood that they will open a potential US$ 8 billion market for multinational companies selling costly drugs by 2015. This was estimated in a report by Ernst & Young. The domestic pharma market is estimated to touch US$ 20 billion by 2015. The healthcare market in India to reach US$ 31.59 billion by 2020. The sale of all types of pharmaceutical drugs and medicines in the country stands at US$ 9.61 billion, which is expected to reach around US$ 19.22 billion by 2012. Thus India would really become a lucrative destination for clinical trials for global giants.

There was another report by RNCOS titled "Booming Pharma Sector in India" in which it was projectedt that the pharmaceutical formulations industry is expected to prosper in the same manner as the pharmaceutical industry. The domestic formulations market will grow at an annual rate of around 17% in 2010-11, owing to increasing middle class population and rapid urbanisation. Read More in Future Prospects of Indian Pharma Industry.

Characteristics of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

The Indian Pharmaceutical sector is highly fragmented with more than 20,000 registered units. It has expanded drastically in the last two decades. The leading 250 pharmaceutical companies control 70% of the market with market leader holding nearly 7% of the market share. It is an extremely fragmented market with severe price competition and government price control.

The pharmaceutical industry in India meets around 70% of the country's demand for bulk drugs, drug intermediates, pharmaceutical formulations, chemicals, tablets, capsules, orals and injectibles. There are about 250 large units and about 8000 Small Scale Units, which form the core of the pharmaceutical industry in India (including 5 Central Public Sector Units). These units produce the complete range of pharmaceutical formulations, i.e., medicines ready for consumption by patients and about 350 bulk drugs, i.e., chemicals having therapeutic value and used for production of pharmaceutical formulations.

Following the de-licensing of the pharmaceutical industry, industrial licensing for most of the drugs and pharmaceutical products has been done away with. Manufacturers are free to produce any drug duly approved by the Drug Control Authority. Technologically strong and totally self-reliant, the pharmaceutical industry in India has low costs of production, low R&D costs, innovative scientific manpower, strength of national laboratories and an increasing balance of trade. The Pharmaceutical Industry, with its rich scientific talents and research capabilities, supported by Intellectual Property Protection regime is well set to take on the international market.

Why India?

Competent workforce: India has a pool of personnel with high managerial and technical competence as also skilled workforce. It has an educated work force and English is commonly used. Professional services are easily available.

Cost-effective chemical synthesis: Its track record of development, particularly in the area of improved cost-beneficial chemical synthesis for various drug molecules is excellent. It provides a wide variety of bulk drugs and exports sophisticated bulk drugs.

Legal & Financial Framework: India has a 53 year old democracyand hence has a solid legal framework and strong financial markets. There is already an established international industry and business community.

Information & Technology: It has a good network of world-class educational institutions and established strengths in Information Technology.

Globalisation: The country is committed to a free market economy and globalization. Above all, it has a 70 million middle class market, which is continuously growing.

Consolidation: For the first time in many years, the international pharmaceutical industry is finding great opportunities in India. The process of consolidation, which has become a generalized phenomenon in the world pharmaceutical industry, has started taking place in India.

Steps to strengthen the Industry

Indian companies need to attain the right product-mix for sustained future growth. Core competencies will play an important role in determining the future of many Indian pharmaceutical companies in the post product-patent regime after 2005. Indian companies, in an effort to consolidate their position, will have to increasingly look at merger and acquisition options of either companies or products. This would help them to offset loss of new product options, improve their R&D efforts and improve distribution to penetrate markets.

Research and development has always taken the back seat amongst Indian pharmaceutical companies. In order to stay competitive in the future, Indian companies will have to refocus and invest heavily in R&D.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry also needs to take advantage of the recent advances in biotechnology and information technology. The future of the industry will be determined by how well it markets its products to several regions and distributes risks, its forward and backward integration capabilities, its R&D, its consolidation through mergers and acquisitions, co-marketing and licensing agreements.

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