Indian Pharmaceutical Industry has made its mark in the global arena. Here is a brief profile on Pharmaceutical Industry in India

Pharmaceutical Industry in India

Pharmaceutical Industry in India is one of the largest and most advanced among the developing countries. It provides employment to millions and ensures that essential drugs at affordable prices are available to the vast population of India. Indian Pharmaceutical Industry has attained wide ranging capabilities in the complex field of drug manufacture and technology. From simple pain killers to sophisticated antibiotics and complex cardiac compounds, almost every type of drug is now made indigenously.

Indian Pharma Industry is playing a key role in promoting and sustaining development in the vital field of medicines. Around 70% of the country's demand for bulk drugs, drug intermediates, pharmaceutical formulations, chemicals, tablets, capsules, orals and vaccines is met by Indian pharmaceutical industry. A number of Indian pharmaceutical companies adhere to highest quality standards and are approved by regulatory authorities in USA and UK.

Indian Pharmaceutical sector is highly fragmented with more than 20,000 registered units and is very top heavy. The leading 250 pharmaceutical companies control 70% of the market with market leader holding nearly 7% of the market share. There are also 5 Central Public Sector Units that manufacture drugs. These units produce complete range of pharmaceuticals, which include medicines ready for consumption by patients and about 350 bulk drugs, i.e., chemicals having therapeutic value and used for production of pharmaceutical formulations. India is largely self-sufficient in case of formulations. More than 85% of the formulations produced in the country are sold in the domestic market. Some life saving, new generation under-patent formulations are imported, by MNCs, which they market in India. Over 60% of India's bulk drug production is exported. The balance is sold locally to other formulators.

Pharmaceutical Industry in India has been de-licensed and industrial licensing for most of the drugs and pharmaceutical products has been done away with. Manufacturers are now free to produce any drug duly approved by the Drug Control Authority. Indian pharmaceutical industry got a major boost with the signing of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in January 2005 with which India began recognising global patents. After recognizing the global patent regime the Indian pharma market became a sought after destination for foreign players.

India holds the lion's share of the world's contract research business as activity in the pharma market continues to explode in this region. Over 15 prominent contract research organisations (CROs) are now operating in India attracted by her ability to offer efficient R&D on a low-cost basis. Thirty five per cent of business is in the field of new drug discovery and the rest 65 per cent of business is in the clinical trials arena. India offers a huge cost advantage in the clinical trials domain compared to Western countries. The cost of hiring a chemist in India is one-fifth of the cost of hiring a chemist in the West.

The future of Indian pharmaceutical sector looks extremely positive. Indian pharma companies are vying for the branded generic drug space to register their global presence. Several Indian pharmaceutical companies have acquired companies in the US and Europe and many others are raising funds to do so. For example, Ranbaxy acquired Romania's Terapia, Ethimed NV of Belgium and GSK's generic business Allen SpA in Italy. Dr Reddy's acquired German generic drug maker Betapharm. Companies like Glenmark Pharma, Lupin, Aurobindo and Jubilant Organosys are on the lookout for lucrative acquisitions.

Note: The above information was last updated on 21-07-2007