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Pharmaceutical industry-India

India's pharmaceutical sector is often termed the "Pharmacy of the World." This is because India provides a significant proportion of generic drugs globally. The industry has seen remarkable growth over the years and has been instrumental in making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

Key Features:

  • Generic Drug Powerhouse: India is the world's largest provider of generic medicines, accounting for 20% of global exports in terms of volume.
  • Robust Infrastructure: The country houses many FDA-approved drug manufacturing facilities, second only to the USA.
  • Affordable Medications: Due to competitive manufacturing costs and low R&D expenses, India has provided medications at a fraction of the cost compared to global prices.

Major Segments:

  • Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs): These are the core components of drugs. India is a significant manufacturer and exporter of APIs to various countries.
  • Formulations: This segment pertains to producing finished dosage forms, like tablets, capsules, and injectables.
  • Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS): Many global pharmaceutical companies outsource research and manufacturing tasks to Indian firms due to cost-effectiveness and expertise.
  • Biopharmaceuticals: While smaller than generics, India's biotech and biopharmaceutical sector is increasing, focusing on vaccines, biosimilars, and novel biologics.

Growth Drivers:

  • Rising Healthcare Needs: The increasing population and the prevalence of lifestyle diseases drive domestic demand for medicines.
  • Government Initiatives: The Indian government has launched initiatives like "Pharma Vision 2020" to make India a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing.
  • Exports: Due to the cost-effective and high-quality production of drugs, many nations rely on Indian pharmaceutical exports.
  • Research & Development: Indian pharmaceutical companies invest more in R&D, leading to innovations and patent filings.


  • Dependency on Imports: India relies heavily on importing raw materials, especially from China, which can sometimes lead to vulnerabilities in the supply chain.
  • Regulatory Concerns: There have been instances of Indian pharmaceutical firms facing scrutiny from international regulatory bodies, impacting their global credibility.
  • Price Control: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in India regulates the prices of medicines, which sometimes affects industry profitability.

Future Prospects:

  • Digital Transformation: Telemedicine, e-pharmacies, and AI-driven research are set to revolutionise the industry.
  • Global Expansion: Indian pharmaceutical firms are expanding their global footprint through exports or by setting up manufacturing units abroad.
  • Personalised Medicine: With advancements in genomics and biotechnology, the focus is shifting towards more personalised and targeted therapies.