Rapid growth surge in the Indian pharmaceutical sector

India expected to take 25% of biosimilars market over the next five years

The Indian domestic pharmaceutical market is estimated at INR 90,400 crore (US$15bn), ending the 2015 fiscal year with growth of 12%, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF).

It is estimated that 27-30% of India's pharmaceutical market is catered to by multinationals operating in India and around 4,60,000 people are estimated to be employed in the pharmaceutical industry. The top 20 companies account for 64% of the market, and eight of these are growing faster than the market: Macleoids tops the list with 23.4% growth, followed by Intas with 21.3%, Cipla 19.7% Glenmark 19.4% growth and Mankind 19.3%.

In 2014-15 India’s pharma exports stood at US$15.3bn. The value of mergers and acquisitions was $5.78bn, an increase of around 44.5% compared with 2013.

The Government's continuous and concerted efforts have resulted in modern medicine reaching almost all corners of the country, and its measures have resulted in the steady decline of communicable diseases and the successful eradication of polio and smallpox The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is responsible for the implementation of national programmes such as the prevention and control of major communicable diseases, and maternal and child health.

Public-private partnerships, an increased penetration of healthcare facilities in non-metroplitan cities, involvement of multinationals in setting up facilities in the country and establishment of educational institutions, are just a few factors enabling India to experience a surge in the global market. Other key assets which have played a role in India becoming a leading pharma market are a thorough know-how in the manufacture of generics, rapidly developing research and development facilities with talented technical staffing, internationally recognised systems of pharmacy education, and a broad patient population pool for clinical trials.

India accounts for 30.3% (2,911) of the 9619 Drug Master Files (DMFs) filed with the USA, which is the highest outside of the USA. Despite a challenging intellectual property regime, pharmaceutical R&D activities are increasing in India. An average of 8-10% of the total revenue of the India domestic pharma market, i.e. $15bn, is spent on R&D. Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS) in India is estimated to reach $18bn in 2018, up from $7.6–7.8bn in 2013. The biopharma market is valued at $2.5bn, and India is expected to seize at least a 20-25% share of the global biosimilars market in the next five years.

India is also making inroads into new regulated markets like Japan. Several initiatives have been undertaken by industry for engaging with Japanese pharma companies, including contract manufacturing of advanced intermediates for drugs under clinical development/about to be made commercial, marketing APIs to Japanese generic and innovation companies, and providing quality intermediates to the Japanese innovator companies.

In summary, says IBEF, the last few years have reshaped and repositioned India in the realm of healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and the results have started to show in its high ranking position in the global pharmaceutical market.