Even though India ranks fourteenth globally in terms of pharma production value, it comes in third for production volumes. In fact, one of the biggest achievements in the Indian pharmaceutical sector is the availability of affordable HIV medication. Indian pharmaceuticals are favored globally due to their affordable prices and superior quality. Additionally, the industry showed resilience, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, earning the nation the title of “Pharmacy of the World”.
Growth in the pharmaceutical sectorThe sector has several unique characteristics that have contributed to its steady growth and recognition. Firstly, the country’s grip on the branded generics market is its biggest strength. India has the highest number of United States FDA-approved plants for generic drug manufacturing outside the North American country. Generic drugs are the pharmacologically equivalent versions of branded drugs and have the same dosage, intended use, and other qualities as the original drug.
Secondly, the industry has many local players who have created their niche through early investments and new formulation development capabilities. Six domestic firms, namely, Aurobindo, Cipla, Desano, Emcure, Hetero Labs, and Laurus Labs, have an UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool to manufacture anti-AIDS medicine for over 112 countries in the developing markets.
Pharmaceutical exports and investmentsIndia has supplied pharmaceutical products to over 200 nations globally, with the United States being the major destination. Among pharmaceutical products, the principal commodities being exported were drug formulations and biological, followed by bulk drugs and drug intermediates. As of 2023, the country’s export value of drugs and pharmaceuticals amounted to over 25 billion U.S. dollars.
This impressive record has also led to major foreign investments in the sector, along with several key merger and acquisition deals. The government has also been keen on backing the sector through various policy implementations. The industry has the potential to lead the way in many areas of global healthcare with supportive policies and assistance from the government.