Indian pharma sector bounces back with rising shipments to US

indica News Bureau –


With key US markets easing pricing in the pharma sector, the Indian pharmaceutical industry which faced headwinds last year, is witnessing a positive turnaround in FY19.

The Indian pharmaceutical exports grew to 12.2 percent to $10.8 billion year-on-year in the first half of FY19. The shipments to the US alone rose 10.3 percent to $3.2 billion, while exports to other countries grew 13 percent to $7.6 billion.

The US is the top destination for Indian pharma exports, followed by the UK. America accounts for about 25 per cent of the country’s shipments. The other important destinations include South Africa, Russia, Nigeria, Brazil and Germany.

Generic drug launches and improved regulatory compliance at Indian drug factories also contributed to the bounceback.

Considering that pharma shipments are among top five export items from India, the rebound is a boost for India, which grew merely 3 per cent to USD 17.3 billion in 2017-18.

The fall happened mainly due to increasing regulatory concerns and pricing pressures in the global markets, including the US. The sector’s exports in 2016-17 had declined to USD 16.7 billion as against USD 16.9 billion in the previous fiscal, according to commerce ministry data.

According to Indian commerce ministry sources, the sustenance of current growth momentum will help meet the $20 billion export target set by the government by FY20.

Care Ratings expects the exports to increase by 8.5 -9.5 percent YoY during FY19.

Higher growth in outbound shipments helps create employment opportunities, earn foreign exchange and boost economic activities.

The export of pharmaceutical products include herbal, formulations, bulk drugs, vaccines and surgicals, to the top 25 destinations in the world.

Generic drugs form the largest segment of the Indian pharmaceutical sector, with 75 per cent marketshare (in terms of revenues).

India supplies 20 per cent of global generic medicines in terms of volume, making the country the largest provider of generic medicines globally.

Over 55 per cent of India’s exports go to highly regulated markets.

According to the CPhI Annual Industry Report 2018, India, followed by the US and China, has the fastest growth potential. Key drivers are the high growth domestic market and expansion of pharma exports, the report said.

Also, India ranked sixth in innovation as per the report. The top three were US, Japan and Germany while China ranked tenth.

The global pharmaceutical market stood at $934.8 billion in 2017 and will reach $1.17 trillion in 2021.

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