Trade Analytics
India's pharmaceutical sector will touch US$ 45 billion by 2020.

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

Latest update: September, 2016


Increasing investments in the sector

• The Indian pharmaceuticals market increased at a CAGR of   17.46 per cent in 2015 from US$ 6 billion in 2005 and is expected   to expand at a CAGR of 15.92 per cent to US$ 55 billion by 2020.

• By 2020, India is likely to be among the top three pharmaceutical   markets by incremental growth and sixth largest market globally   in absolute size.

• India’s cost of production is significantly lower than that of the US   and almost half of that of Europe. It gives a competitive edge to   India over others.


Generic drugs form the largest segment

• With 70 per cent of market share (in terms of revenues), generic   drugs form the largest segment of the Indian pharmaceutical   sector.

• India supply 20 per cent of global generic medicines market   exports in terms of volume, making the country the largest   provider of generic medicines globally and expected to expand   even further in coming years

• Over the Counter (OTC) medicines and patented drugs   constitute 21 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, of total   market revenues of US$ 20 billion



Last Updated: September, 2016

SECTORAL REPORT | October, 2016


The Indian pharmaceuticals market is the third largest in terms of volume and thirteenth largest in terms of value, as per a report by Equity Master. India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume. Of late, consolidation has become an important characteristic of the Indian pharmaceutical market as the industry is highly fragmented.

India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. The country also has a large pool of scientists and engineers who have the potential to steer the industry ahead to an even higher level. Presently over 80 per cent of the antiretroviral drugs used globally to combat AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) are supplied by Indian pharmaceutical firms.

The UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool has signed six sub-licences with Aurobindo, Cipla, Desano, Emcure, Hetero Labs and Laurus Labs, allowing them to make generic anti-AIDS medicine TenofovirAlafenamide (TAF) for 112 developing countries.

Market Size

The Indian pharma industry, which is expected to grow over 15 per cent per annum between 2015 and 2020, will outperform the global pharma industry, which is set to grow at an annual rate of 5 per cent between the same period!. The market is expected to grow to US$ 55 billion by 2020, thereby emerging as the sixth largest pharmaceutical market globally by absolute size, as stated by Mr Arun Singh, Indian Ambassador to the US. Branded generics dominate the pharmaceuticals market, constituting nearly 80 per cent of the market share (in terms of revenues).

India has also maintained its lead over China in pharmaceutical exports with a year-on-year growth of 11.44 per cent to US$ 12.91 billion in FY 2015-16, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Imports of pharmaceutical products rose marginally by 0.80 per cent year-on-year to US$ 1,641.15 million.

Overall drug approvals given by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to Indian companies have nearly doubled to 201 in FY 2015-16 from 109 in FY 2014-15. The country accounts for around 30 per cent (by volume) and about 10 per cent (value) in the US$ 70-80 billion US generics market.

India's biotechnology industry comprising bio-pharmaceuticals, bio-services, bio-agriculture, bio-industry and bioinformatics is expected grow at an average growth rate of around 30 per cent a year and reach US$ 100 billion by 2025. Biopharma, comprising vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, is the largest sub-sector contributing nearly 62 per cent of the total revenues at Rs 12,600 crore (US$ 1.88 billion).


The Union Cabinet has given its nod for the amendment of the existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in the pharmaceutical sector in order to allow FDI up to 100 per cent under the automatic route for manufacturing of medical devices subject to certain conditions.

The drugs and pharmaceuticals sector attracted cumulative FDI inflows worth US$ 13.85 billion between April 2000 and March 2016, according to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Some of the major investments in the Indian pharmaceutical sector are as follows:

  • India’s largest drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited has entered into a distribution agreement with Japan's Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation to market 14 prescription brands in Japan.
  • Syngene International Limited will be setting up its fourth exclusive Research and Development (R&D) center named Syngene Amgen Research and Development Center (SARC) for a US-based biotechnology company Amgen Incorporation in Bengaluru.
  • India’s third largest drug maker Lupin Limited plans to file its first biosimilar Etanercept for approval in Japan, world’s second largest drug market, in 2017.
  • Rubicon Research Pvt Ltd, a contract research and manufacturing services firm, is in advanced talks with Everstone Capital and a few high-net-worth Individuals (HNI) to raise up to Rs 240 crore (US$ 35.79 million), which will be used to increase the company’s manufacturing capabilities.
  • Lupin Ltd plans to acquire a portfolio of 21 generic brands from Japan-based Shionogi & Co Ltd for Rs 10.08 billion (US$ 150.3 million), which will help to strengthen its presence in the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, plans to invest upto US$ 75 million in Glenmark, which is looking to raise around US$ 200 million for expansion and the launch of several new products in India and other emerging markets over the next three years.
  • Cipla Limited plans to invest around Rs 600 crore (US$ 89.47 million) to set up a biosimilar manufacturing facility in South Africa for making affordable cancer drugs and growing its presence in the market.
  • Rusan Pharma, a firm which specialises in de-addiction and pain management products, plans to invest Rs 100 crore (US$ 14.91 million) in a R&D centre and a manufacturing unit in Kandla, located in Kutch District in Gujarat.
  • Pink Blue Supply Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a clinical supplies provider, has raised Rs 1.5 crore (US$ 0.22 million) in a seed round of funding from, a transaction-focused service provider for start-ups and investors.
  • The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has signed a licencing agreement with six Indian drug makers for the generic manufacturing of four antiretrovirals (ARV) and hepatitis C direct-acting antiviral drug Daclatasvir.
  • Dr Reddy's Laboratories, one of the major pharmaceutical companies of India, has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Turkey-based TR-Pharm, to register and subsequently commercialise three biosimilar products in Turkey.
  • Lupin has completed the acquisition of US-based GAVIS Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth US$ 880 million, which is expected to enhance its product pipeline in dermatology, controlled substances and high-value speciality products.
  • Cipla Ltd, one of the major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in India, has acquired two US-based generic drug makers, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc., for US$ 550 million, which is expected to strengthen Cipla's US business.
  • Emcure Pharmaceuticals has acquired Canada's International Pharmaceutical Generics Ltd and its marketing arm Marcan Pharmaceuticals in order to boost its global expansion drive.
  • Cipla announced the acquisition of two US-based companies, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc., for US$550 million.
  • Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals has started work on its largest greenfield tablet manufacturing facility in Vemgal in Kolar district, Karnataka, with an estimated investment of Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 149.11 million).
  • Lupin has acquired two US based pharmaceutical firms, Gavis Pharmaceuticals LLC and Novel Laboratories Inc, in a deal worth at US$ 880 million.
  • Several online pharmacy retailers like PharmEasy, Netmeds, Orbimed, are attracting investments from several investors, due to double digit growth in the Rs 97,000 crore ( US$ 14.46 billion) Indian pharmacy market.
  • StelisBiopharma announced the breakthrough construction of its customised, multi-product, biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility at Bio-Xcell Biotechnology Park in Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia's park and ecosystem for industrial and healthcare biotechnology at a total project investment amount of US$ 60 million.
  • Strides Arcolab entered into a licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences Inc to manufacture and distribute the latter's cost-efficient TenofovirAlafenamide (TAF) product to treat HIV patients in developing countries. The licence to manufacture Gilead's low-cost drug extends to 112 countries.

Government Initiatives

The Government of India unveiled 'Pharma Vision 2020' aimed at making India a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacture. Approval time for new facilities has been reduced to boost investments. Further, the government introduced mechanisms such as the Drug Price Control Order and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority to deal with the issue of affordability and availability of medicines.

Mr Ananth Kumar, Union Minister of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, has announced setting up of chemical hubs across the country, early environment clearances in existing clusters, adequate infrastructure, and establishment of a Central Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology.

Some of the major initiatives taken by the government to promote the pharmaceutical sector in India are as follows:

  • The Government of India plans to set up around eight mini drug-testing laboratories across major ports and airports in the country, which is expected to improve the drug regulatory system and infrastructure facilities by monitoring the standards of imported and exported drugs and reduce the overall time spent on quality assessment.
  • India is expected to rank among the top five global pharmaceutical innovation hubs by 2020, based on Government of India's decision to allow 50 per cent public funding in the pharmaceuticals sector through its Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.#
  • Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA), the professional association of pharmaceutical companies in India, plans to prepare data integrity guidelines which will help to measure and benchmark the quality of Indian companies with global peers.
  • The Government of India plans to incentivise bulk drug manufacturers, including both state-run and private companies, to encourage ‘Make in India’ programme and reduce dependence on imports of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), nearly 85 per cent of which come from China.
  • The Department of Pharmaceuticals has set up an inter-ministerial co-ordination committee, which would periodically review, coordinate and facilitate the resolution of the issues and constraints faced by the Indian pharmaceutical companies.
  • The Department of Pharmaceuticals has planned to launch a venture capital fund of Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 149.11 million) to support start-ups in the research and development in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

Road Ahead

The Indian pharmaceutical market size is expected to grow to US$ 100 billion by 2025, driven by increasing consumer spending, rapid urbanisation, and raising healthcare insurance among others.

Going forward, better growth in domestic sales would also depend on the ability of companies to align their product portfolio towards chronic therapies for diseases such as such as cardiovascular, anti-diabetes, anti-depressants and anti-cancers that are on the rise.

The Indian government has taken many steps to reduce costs and bring down healthcare expenses. Speedy introduction of generic drugs into the market has remained in focus and is expected to benefit the Indian pharmaceutical companies. In addition, the thrust on rural health programmes, lifesaving drugs and preventive vaccines also augurs well for the pharmaceutical companies.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.0149 as on September 21, 2016

References: Consolidated FDI Policy, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Press Information Bureau (PIB), Media Reports, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council

Note: ! - According to a study by UBM India, the Indian arm of London-based media and events company; @ - According to India Ratings (a Fitch company); # - according to Assocham and TechSci Research

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.


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