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May, 2012

India's pharmaceutical sector is gaining its position as a global leader. The pharma market in India is expected to touch US$ 74 billion in sales by 2020 from the current US$ 11 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) report.

In fact, India has every chance to capitalise the opportunity to become a pharmaceutical Superpower in 2020 and a hub for all pharmaceutical manufacturing & research needs, according to Subodh Priolkar, President, 63rd IPC, and Regional Managing Director, Colorcon Asia.

Sector Structure/ Market Size

The domestic pharmaceutical market (IPM) grew 21.9 per cent to record sales of Rs 5,369 crore (US$ 1.01 billion) in March 2012, as compared to the previous year, according to an analysis by a market research firm, All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) AWACS. Exceptional growth in companies such as Mankind, Macleods and Micro Labs resulted in the record sales.

While Mankind recorded a growth of 32.6 per cent to record sales of Rs 194 crore (US$ 36.67 million), Macleods Rs 132 crore (US$ 24.95 million) and Micro Labs with Rs 109 crore (US$ 20.60 million) grew 40 and 45.1 per cent, respectively.

Abbott, with its subsidiaries Abbott Healthcare and Solvay, registered sales of Rs 306 crore (US$ 57.84 million) to retain its number one position in the domestic market. The other market leaders were Cipla, GSK and Sun Pharma with sales of Rs 280 crore (US$ 52.93 million), Rs 254 crore (US$ 48.02 million) and Rs 255 crore (US$ 48.20 million), respectively. Ranbaxy's sales grew 19.2 per cent to Rs 229 crore (US$ 43.29 million) in March 2012.


  • In order to harness the full potential of the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Japan, India is likely to press the former for further opening of the pharmaceutical sector. This would help the domestic industry to leverage Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and increase its share in the Japanese market. Indian pharmaceutical industry would gain significantly from the pact as Japan, the world's second largest market, had agreed to cut duties on imports of Indian generic drugs
  • India has proposed joint ventures (JV) with Russian pharmaceutical companies to manufacture 500 drugs in Russia and to supply them in markets of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. "Joint ventures are good idea. Pharma sector is a good example where we can cooperate," according to Elvira Nabiullina, the Russian Minister of Economic Development
  • Ranbaxy has announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility at Casablanca, Morocco. "Morocco is one of the important markets and this manufacturing facility further reinforces our commitment to the people of Morocco and the African continent," as per Mahendra Bhardwaj, Head, Ranbaxy (Africa)


India will see the largest number of merger and acquisitions (M&A) in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, according to consulting firm Grant Thornton. A survey conducted across 100 companies has revealed that a fourth of the respondents were optimistic about acquisitions in the pharmaceutical sector.

The drugs and pharmaceuticals sector attracted foreign direct investments (FDI) worth US$ 9,173.50 million between April 2000 to February 2012, according to the latest data published by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).


India tops the world in exporting generic medicines worth US$ 11 billion. Currently, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is one of the world's largest and most developed, according to Mr Srikant Kumar Jena, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Generics will continue to dominate the market while patent-protected products are likely to constitute 10 per cent of the pie till 2015, according to McKinsey report 'India Pharma 2015 - Unlocking the potential of Indian Pharmaceuticals market'.

Indian generics constitute nearly a fifth of global supplies, as per a press release dated December 28, 2011. India has world renowned capacity in producing low cost, high quality bulk and generic drugs. Supply of such drugs and investment in producing pharmaceutical products in Belarus through JV by Indian companies will provide win-win situation for both countries. Presently US$ 700 million is the size of pharma market in Belarus and about 70 per cent of the total requirement of Belarus is imported.

According to a recent trend, multinational drug companies are showing a healthy growth in the Indian market. Out of 25 top medicine brands by sales last year, 13 were global drug major such as Pfizer, GSK and Novartis. A recent report of market research entity AIOCD AWACS reveals that brand-building exercise is fast becoming more evident in a predominantly generic Indian medicine market.

  • Onco Therapies, a subsidiary of Strides Arcolab, has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for anti-cancer Cisplatin injection. Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug. The US market for generic Cisplatin is about US$ 10 million, according to IMS data
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd announced that it has received approval from the US health regulator - US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), for the sale of its generic Zyprexa Zydis tablets in the American market. The tablets are used in treating schizophrenia - a mental disorder