India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally. Indian pharmaceutical sector supplies over 50% of global demand for various vaccines, 40% of generic demand in the US and 25% of all medicine in the UK. Globally, India ranks 3rd in terms of pharmaceutical production by volume and 14th by value. The domestic pharmaceutical industry includes a network of 3,000 drug companies and ~10,500 manufacturing units.
India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. The country also has a large pool of scientists and engineers with a potential to steer the industry ahead to greater heights. Presently, over 80% of the antiretroviral drugs used globally to combat AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) are supplied by Indian pharmaceutical firms.
According to the Indian Economic Survey 2021, the domestic market is expected to grow 3x in the next decade. India’s domestic pharmaceutical market is estimated at US$ 42 billion in 2021 and likely to reach US$ 65 billion by 2024 and further expand to reach ~US$ 120-130 billion by 2030.
India's biotechnology industry comprising biopharmaceuticals, bio-services, bio-agriculture, bio-industry, and bioinformatics. The Indian biotechnology industry was valued at US$ 64 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach US$ 150 billion by 2025.
India’s drugs and pharmaceuticals exports stood at US$ 24.44 billion in FY21.
Investments and Recent Developments
The Union Cabinet has given its nod for the amendment of existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in the pharmaceutical sector in order to allow FDI up to 100% under the automatic route for manufacturing of medical devices subject to certain conditions.
The drugs and pharmaceuticals sector attracted cumulative FDI inflow worth US$ 17.75 billion between April 2000 and December 2020 according to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Some of the recent developments/investments in the Indian pharmaceutical sector are as follows:
- In May 2021, the Government of India invited R&D proposals on critical components and innovations in oxygen concentrators by June 15, 2021.
- In May 2021, Indian Immunologicals Ltd. (IIL) and Bharat Immunologicals and Biologicals Corporation (BIBCOL) inked technology transfer pacts with Bharat Biotech to develop the vaccine locally to boost India's vaccination drive. The two PSUs plan to start production of vaccines by September 2021.
- In May 2021, Eli Lilly & Company issued non-exclusive voluntary licenses to pharmaceutical companies—Cipla Ltd., Lupin Ltd., Natco Pharma & Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.—to produce and distribute Baricitinib, a drug for treating COVID-19.
- In April 2021, the CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, indigenously developed the technology of Oxygen Enrichment Unit (OEU). The unit can deliver medical air in the range of ~15 litres per minute, with oxygen purity of >90%. It transferred the technology to MSMEs—Conquerent Control Systems Pvt. Ltd., A B Elasto Products Pvt. Ltd. and Automation Engineers, Mech Air Industries and Auto Malleable.
- In April 2021, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) fixed the price of 81 medicines including off-patent anti-diabetic drugs allowing due benefits of patent expiry to the patients.
- In February 2021, Aurobindo Pharma announced plans to procure solar power from two open access projects of NVNR Power and Infra in Hyderabad. The company will acquire 26% share capital in both companies with an US$ 1.5 million investment. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of March 2021.
- In February 2021, the Telangana government partnered with Cytiva to open a ‘Fast Trak’ lab to strengthen the biopharma industry of the state.
- In February 2021, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited launched SUTIB, a generic version of Sunitinib oral capsules, for the treatment of kidney cancer in India.
- In February 2021, Natco Pharma launched Brivaracetam for the treatment of epilepsy in India.
- In February 2021, the Russian Ministry of Health allowed Glenmark Pharmaceuticals to market its novel fixed-dose combination nasal spray in Russia.
- In January 2021, the Central government announced to set up three bulk drug parks at a cost of Rs. 14,300 crore (US$ 1,957 million) to manufacture chemical compounds or active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for medicines and reduce imports from China.
- Government Initiatives
Some of the initiatives taken by the Government to promote the pharmaceutical sector in India are as follows:
- To achieve self-reliance and minimise import dependency in the country's essential bulk drugs, the Department of Pharmaceuticals initiated a PLI scheme to promote domestic manufacturing by setting up greenfield plants with minimum domestic value addition in four separate ‘Target Segments’ with a cumulative outlay of Rs. 6,940 crore (US$ 951.27 million) from FY21 to FY30.
- In May 2021, under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0, Mission COVID Suraksha was announced by the Government of India to accelerate development and production of indigenous COVID vaccines. To augment the capacity of indigenous production of Covaxin under the mission, the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, provided financial support in the form of a grant to vaccine manufacturing facilities for enhanced production capacities, which is expected to reach >10 crore doses per month by September 2021.
- In April 2021, the Union Government decided to streamline and fast-track the regulatory system for COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for restricted use by the US FDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan or those listed in the WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL). This decision is likely to facilitate quicker access to foreign vaccines by India and encourage imports.
- In February 2021, the Punjab government announced to establish three pharma parks in the state. Of these, a pharma park has been proposed at Bathinda, spread across ~1,300 acres area and project worth ~Rs. 1,800 crore (US$ 245.58 million). Another medical park worth Rs. 180 crore (US$ 24.56 million) has been proposed at Rajpura and the third project, a greenfield project, has been proposed at Wazirabad, Fatehgarh Sahib.
- Under Union Budget 2021-22, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been allocated Rs. 73,932 crore (US$ 10.35 billion) and the Department of Health Research has been allocated Rs. 2,663 crore (US$ 365.68 billion). The government allocated Rs. 37,130 crore (US$ 5.10 billion) to the 'National Health Mission’. PM Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana was allocated Rs. 64,180 crore (US$ 8.80 billion) over six years. The Ministry of AYUSH was allocated Rs. 2,970 crore (US$ 407.84 million), up from Rs. 2,122 crore (US$ 291.39 million).
Medicine spending in India is projected to grow 9 12% over the next five years, leading India to become one of the top 10 countries in terms of medicine spending.
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, which 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.
References: Consolidated FDI Policy, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Media Reports, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council, AIOCD-AWACS, IQVIA
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.