Saturday, December 4, 2010

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry in India is among the most highly organized sectors. This industry plays an important role in promoting and sustaining development in the field of global medicine. Due to the presence of low cost manufacturing facilities, educated and skilled manpower and cheap labor force among others, the industry is set to scale new heights in the fields of production, development, manufacturing and research. In 2008, the domestic pharma market in India was expected to be US$ 10.76 billion and this is likely to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 9.9 per cent until 2010 and subsequently at 9.5 per cent till the year 2015.


  • The pharma industry generally grows at about 1.5-1.6 times the Gross Domestic Product growth
  • Globally, India ranks third in terms of manufacturing pharma products by volume
  • The Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow at a rate of 9.9 % till 2010 and after that 9.5 % till 2015
  • In 2007-08, India exported drugs worth US$7.2 billion in to the US and Europe followed by Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America
  • The Indian vaccine market which was worth US$665 million in 2007-08 is growing at a rate of more than 20%
  • The retail pharmaceutical market in India is expected to cross US$ 12-13 billion by 2012
  • The Indian drug and pharmaceuticals segment received foreign direct investment to the tune of US$ 1.43 billion from April 2000 to December 2008


Every industry has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages under which they have to work; the pharmaceutical industry is no exception to this. Some of the challenges the industry faces are:

  • Regulatory obstacles
  • Lack of proper infrastructure
  • Lack of qualified professionals
  • Expensive research equipments
  • Lack of academic collaboration
  • Underdeveloped molecular discovery program
  • Divide between the industry and study curriculum


The government of India has undertaken several including policy initiatives and tax breaks for the growth of the pharmaceutical business in India. Some of the measures adopted are:

  • Pharmaceutical units are eligible for weighted tax reduction at 150% for the research and development expenditure obtained.
  • Two new schemes namely, New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative and the Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Research Program have been launched by the Government.
  • The Government is contemplating the creation of SRV or special purpose vehicles with an insurance cover to be used for funding new drug research
  • The Department of Pharmaceuticals is mulling the creation of drug research facilities which can be used by private companies for research work on rent


In the recent years, despite the slowdown witnessed in the global economy, exports from the pharmaceutical industry in India have shown good buoyancy in growth. Export has become an important driving force for growth in this industry with more than 50 % revenue coming from the overseas markets. For the financial year 2008-09 the export of drugs is estimated to be $8.25 billion as per the Pharmaceutical Export Council of India, which is an organization, set up by the Government of India. A survey undertaken by FICCI, the oldest industry chamber in India has predicted 16% growth in the export of India's pharmaceutical growth during 2009-2010.

Key players in Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

There are several national and international pharmaceutical companies that operate in India. Most of the country's requirements for pharmaceutical products are met by these companies. Some of them are briefly described below:

  • Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited is the biggest pharmaceutical manufacturing company in India. The company is ranked at the 8th position among the global generic pharmaceutical companies and has presence in 48 countries including world class manufacturing facilities in 10 countries and serves to customers from over 125 countries. Ranbaxy Laboratories 2009-2010 Q3 Net Profit Results showed a profit of Rs 116.6 crore as compared to Rs 394.5 crore deficits, recorded during the corresponding period last fiscal.
  • Dr. Reddy's Laboratories manufactures and markets a wide range of pharmaceuticals both in India and abroad. The company has 60 active pharmaceutical ingredients to manufacture drugs, critical care products, diagnostic kits and biotechnology products. The company has 6 FDA plants that produce active pharma ingredients and 7 FDA inspected and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified plants. Dr. Reddy's Q1 FY10 result shows the revenues of the company at Rs. 18,189 million which is up by 21%. During this quarter the company introduced 24 new generic products, applied for 22 new generic product registrations and filed 4 DMFs.
  • Cipla is an Indian pharmaceutical company renowned for the manufacture of low cost anti AIDS drugs. The company's product range comprises of anthelmintics, oncology, anti-bacterials, cardiovascular drugs, antibiotics, nutritional supplements, anti-ulcerants, anti-asthmatics and corticosteroids. Cipla also offers other services like quality control, engineering, project appraisal, plant supply, consulting, commissioning and know-how transfer, support. For the financial year 2008-09 the company registered an increase of 22% in sales and other income over the previous year.
  • Nicholas Piramal is the second largest pharmaceutical healthcare company in India. The brands manufactured by the company include Gardenal, Ismo, Stemetil, Rejoint, Supradyn, Phensedyl and Haemaccel. Nicholas Piramal has entered into joint ventures and alliances with several international corporations like Cheissi, Italy; IVAX Corp; UK, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Allergan Inc., USA etc.
  • Glaxo Smithkline (GSK) is a United Kingdom based pharma company; it is the world's second largest pharmaceutical company. The company's portfolio of pharma products consist of central nervous system, respiratory, oncology, vaccines, anti-invectives and gastro-intestinal/metabolic products among others. On November 2009, the FDA had announced that the H1N1 vaccine manufactured by GSK would join the list of the four vaccines approved.
  • Zydus Cadila also known as Cadila Healthcare is an Indian pharmaceutical company located in Gujarat. The company's 1QFY2010 results show the net sales at Rs880.3cr which is higher than the estimated Rs773cr. The net profit was Rs124.8cr which was increase of 39%; the increase was on account of higher sales and improvement in the OPM.

India's Domestic Pharmaceutical Market (12 Months Ended January 2009)


Size ($ Billions)

Market Share (%)

Growth Rate (%)

Total Pharma Market












Glaxo Smithkline




Piramal Healthcare




Zydus Cadila




Source: ORG IMS


With several companies slated to make investments in India, the future scenario of the pharmaceutical industry in looks pretty promising. The country's pharmaceutical industry has tremendous potential of growth considering all the projects that are in the pipeline. Some of the future initiatives are:

  • According to a study by FICCI-Ernst & Young India will open a probable US$ 8 billion market for MNCs selling expensive drugs by 2015
  • The study also says that the domestic pharma market is likely to reach US$ 20 billion by 2015
  • The Minister of Commerce estimates that US$ 6.31 billion will be invested in the domestic pharmaceutical sector
  • Public spending on healthcare is likely to raise from 7 per cent of GDP in 2007 to 13 per cent of GDP by 2015
  • Dr Reddy's Laboratories has tied up with GlaxoSmithKline to develop and market generics and formulations in upcoming markets overseas
  • Lupin, a Mumbai based pharmaceutical company is looking to tap opportunities of about US$ 200 million in the US oral contraceptives market
  • Due to the low cost of R&D, the Indian pharmaceutical off-shoring industry is designated to turn out to be a US$ 2.5 billion opportunity by 2012


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