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

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

Latest update: August, 2015

Steep growth expected in pharmaceutical expenditure

•Over 2012–20, total healthcare spending is expected to rise at a CAGR of 20 per cent to US$ 280 billion from US$ 65 billion 

•Industry revenues are expected to expand at a CAGR of 12.1 per cent during 2012-20 and reach US$ 45 billion 

•Pharmaceutical sales, as a percentage of total healthcare spending, are expected to increase to 27 per cent by 2016 from 18.9 per cent in 2008nbsp;


Trends in Indian Pharma sector revenue

•The Indian pharmaceuticals market increased at a CAGR of 12.79 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.


Last Updated: August, 2015

SECTORAL REPORT | August, 2015


The Indian pharmaceuticals market is third largest in terms of volume and thirteen largest in terms of value, as per a pharmaceuticals sector analysis report by equity master. The market is dominated majorly by branded generics which constitute nearly 70 to 80 per cent of the market. Considered to be a highly fragmented industry,consolidation has increasingly become an important feature of the Indian pharmaceutical market.

India has achieved an eminent global position in pharma sector. The country also has a huge pool of scientists and engineers who have the potential to take the industry to a very high level.

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

Market Size

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is estimated to grow at 20 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years, as per India Ratings, a Fitch Group company. Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities registered with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as on March 2014 was the highest at 523 for any country outside the US.

We expect the domestic pharma market to grow at 10-12 per cent in FY15 as compared to 9 per cent in FY14, as per a recent report from Centrum Broking. The domestic pharma growth rate was 11.9 per cent in October 2014, highlighted the report.

Gujarat clocked the highest growth rate in pharmaceuticals market at 22.4 per cent during November 2014, surpassing the industry growth rate, which grew by 10.9 per cent, as per data from the market research firm AIOCD Pharma softtech AWACS.

Also, growing at an average rate of about 20 per cent, India's biotechnology industry comprising bio-pharmaceuticals, bio-services, bio-agriculture, bio-industry and bioinformatics may reach the US$ 7 billion mark by the end of FY15, according to an industry body. Biopharma is the largest sector contributing about 62 per cent of the total revenue, with revenue generation to the tune of over Rs 12,600 crore (US$ 2.03 billion). The bio-pharma sector comprises vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to amend the existing FDI policy in the pharmaceutical sector in order to cover medical devices. The Cabinet has allowed FDI up to 100 per cent under the automatic route for manufacturing of medical devices subject to specified conditions.

The drugs and pharmaceuticals sector attracted cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows worth US$ 12,813.02 million between April 2000 and December 2014, 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:

  • Stelis Biopharma has announced the ground-breaking for 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.
  • Pharma major Strides Arcolab has entered into a licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences Inc to manufacture and distribute the latter's low-cost Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF) product used for HIV treatment in developing countries. The licence to manufacture Gilead's low-cost drug extends to 112 countries.
  • Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (AHEL) plans to add another 2,000 beds over the next two financial years, at a cost of around Rs 1,500 crore (US$ 242.57 million), as per Mr Prathap C Reddy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Apollo Hospitals.
  • CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, has invested US$ 48 million in Narayana Hrudayalaya hospitals, a multi-speciality healthcare provider. With this investment, Narayana Health will expand affordable treatment in eastern, central and western India.
  • Cadila Healthcare Ltd has announced the launch of a biosimilar for Adalimumab - the world’s largest selling drug for rheumatoid arthritis and other auto immune disorders. The drug will be marketed under the brand name Exemptia at one-fifth of the price for the branded version-Humira. Cadila’s biosimilar is the first to be launched by any company in the world and is a finger print match with the original in terms of safety, purity and potency of the product, as per the company.
  • Torrent Pharmaceuticals has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Reliance Life Sciences for marketing three biosimilars in India — Rituximab, Adalimumab and Cetuximab.
  • Piramal Enterprises Ltd has acquired US-based Coldstream Laboratories for US$ 30.6 million in an all-cash transaction.
  • Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) plans to set up a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Pondicherry with an investment of Rs 300 crore (US$ 48.53 million).
  • SRF Ltd has acquired Global DuPont Dymel, the pharmaceutical propellant business of DuPont, for US$ 20 million.

Government Initiatives

The Addendum 2015 of the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) 2014 is published by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) on behalf of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The addendum would play a significant role in improving the quality of medicines which in turn promote public health and accelerate the growth and development of pharma sector.

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

Romania is keen to tie up with the Indian pharmaceutical companies for research and develop new drugs. "Romania will collaborate with India for license acquisition to sale India's drugs in Europe," said Mr Mario Crute, Counselor in Ministry of health in Romania at GCCI. The country will tie up with the Indian pharmaceutical companies for research and develop new drugs.

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

  • Indian and global companies have expressed 175 investment intentions worth Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 161.78 million) in the pharmaceutical sector of Gujarat. The memorandums of understanding (MoUs) would be signed during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
  • Telangana has proposed to set up India's largest integrated pharmaceutical city spread over 11,000 acres near Hyderabad, complete with effluent treatment plants and a township for employees, in a bid to attract investment of Rs 30,000 crore (US$ 4.85 billion) in phases. Hyderabad, which is known as the bulk drug capital of India, accounts for nearly a fifth of India's exports of drugs, which stood at Rs 90,000 crore (US$ 14.56 billion) in 2013-14.

Road Ahead

The Indian pharma market size is expected to grow to US$ 85 billion by 2020. The growth in Indian domestic market will be on back of increasing consumer spending, rapid urbanisation, raising healthcare insurance and so on.

Going forward, better growth in domestic sales will 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 are on the rise.

Moreover, the government has been taking several cost effective measures in order to bring down healthcare expenses. Thus, governments are focusing on speedy introduction of generic drugs into the market. This too will benefit Indian pharma companies. In addition, the thrust on rural health programmes, life saving drugs and preventive vaccines also augurs well for the pharma companies.

Exchange rate used INR 1= US$ 0.016 as on February 26, 2015

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

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

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