India has emerged as a strong force in the global pharmaceutical industry over the past decade. Factors like a strong export base (with over half of India’s overall pharma exports to highly regulated markets like US and Europe), cost efficient products and a huge base of technically skilled manpower have made India the preferable destination for manufacturing pharmaceutical products. While the export growth slowed down to single digits in the past two years, industry estimates suggests that the industry is expected to bounce back and achieve 10-15 per cent growth during the current fiscal. With several medicines going off patent, strengthening dollar and access to new markets in Asia, the industry is expecting to clock strong double digit growth in exports in 2015-16. In addition, factors like increased focus of Indian drug makers on complex and high value generics and growing acceptance to Indian generics in key new markets like Japan backed by an anticipated increase in the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approvals.
Pharmaceutical exports from India stood at Rs 95,000 crore (US$ 15 billion) in 2014-15 registering a growth of 5 per cent. Challenges like delayed regulatory approvals, price erosion due to increased global competition, slow growth in the North American market and currency devaluations and geopolitical uncertainties in certain countries like Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Brazil impacted the growth of Indian pharma industry over the past couple of years. With major Indian companies like Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Lupin, Sun Pharma, Glenmark and Aurobindo Pharma planning to launch several complex generics and waiting for global regulatory approvals, the industry is expecting the industry growth to improve significantly in the current financial year.
India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) has been working closely with key industry stakeholders like the Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) since 2012 leading the Brand India Pharma campaign to build a positive perception about Indian pharmaceutical products. Working with a 360-degree strategy, the campaign has already garnered strong positive reactions towards Indian pharmaceuticals over past few years.
The new opportunities backed by the strong product pipeline are expected to put the industry back on the high growth track in the current financial year.