Distribution of pharmaceutical market revenue in India 2018 by sub segment

Generic drugs have been a stronghold of the Indian pharmaceutical industry and as of 2018, it contributed to 70 percent of the total market revenue. At the same time, patented drugs amounted to just nine percent of the market revenue pointing to a need for further research and development in the country in order to increase the patent drug applications.

Generics and the market size

Generic drugs are copies of the original chemical substances that make up branded drugs. Once the patents on the original drugs expire, other pharma companies can sell these drug copies at a much cheaper price. Generic prescription drugs generated a revenue of around 79 billion U.S. dollars worldwide in fiscal year 2019 and this was expected to go up to 100 billion dollars by 2024. At the same time, it was estimated that India would generate around 28 billion dollars’ worth of revenue from generics in the prescribed drug market by 2020.

The case for Indian generics and affordability

Apart from the revenue potential from generics, it is also a cornerstone in making cheap medicines available to the masses. In 2019, India’s pharmaceutical exports were largely focused on places with high out-of-pocket health expenditures like the United States and Africa. As healthcare expenditure keeps rising world-over, the importance of affordable medicines through quality assured generics will be the need of the hour.

Share of pharmaceutical market revenue in India in 2018, by sub segment

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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* OTC refers to Over The Counter medicine.

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Statistics on "Pharmaceutical industry in India"

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