Pharma industry eyes global growth 

Pharmexcil director general Udaya Bhaskar told Telangana Today, “North America remains a key market for India’s pharma industry for exports.

By Author  |  Published: 14th Sep 2019  12:10 amUpdated: 13th Sep 2019  11:02 pm

Hyderabad: India’s pharmaceuticals industry which recorded $19.2 billion exports during 2018-19 comprising of bulk drugs,  finished dosage formulations, ayush, herbals and surgical products, is looking to make deeper inroads into the US, China, Japan, Korea and Australia. India exported to 201 countries in FY19.

Pharmexcil director general Udaya Bhaskar told Telangana Today, “North America remains a key market for India’s pharma industry for exports. The US broadly has been a lead market and will continue to be this fiscal too with over 30 per cent export contribution. China and Japan are also key markets. There is a huge potential to increase exports to China, as the government there is easing the product registration process.”

The council had been talking to Chinese regulatory authorities and China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines (CCCIEM) to promote exports to China. India today imports about $2.5 billion worth of pharmaceuticals (raw material, ingredients and intermediates) while the nation exports only $230 million (FY19) worth of pharmaceuticals to China.

Expanding Asian ties, Hyderabad-headquartered Pharmexcil has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Korea Drug Research Association (KDRA) and Philippine Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA).

He added, “Australia is one such country where we see increased export activity. The exports council already led delegations to Australia and New Zealand in July and has witnessed growing interest in these markets for Indian generic formulations, nutraceuticals and veterinary products.

Pharmexcil has conducted a study on understanding the imports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and key starting materials in order to develop a road map to make India self-reliant in manufacturing them, so as to reduce import dependency. Findings of the study in the form of a detailed project report (DPR) will be submitted to the government in next 1-2 weeks.

Growth trends 

India’s pharmaceutical exports, which witnessed a growth of 11 per cent in the first quarter of this fiscal valued at $5 billion, are expected to touch $22 billion during this fiscal, according to Pharmexcil (Pharmaceuticals Exports Promotion Council of India, set up by Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.

In July 2019 alone, exports have gone up by 21.7 per cent valued at $1,722 million. The cumulative exports during the period April-July 2019 stood at 13 per cent.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal, geographic markets such as North America, China, Japan and Iran have contributed significantly. US saw 28 per cent growth while exports to China went up by over 37 and exports to Japan increased by over 32 per cent. Markets such as Iran saw a 169 per cent jump in exports during the period.

Cluster development 

Pharmexcil is pitching for development of clusters in India for bulk drugs, intermediates and chemicals to strengthen domestic manufacturing and reduce import dependency in these segments.

Udaya Bhaskar said, “We are recommending exclusive clusters for bulk drugs, intermediates, key starting materials and chemicals. This will help improve domestic production as well as aid exports. Ministry of Environment & Forests will have to suggest suitable geographic markets for individual clusters. Formulation exports accounted for 70.87 per cent of the total pharma exports in the FY19 while bulk drugs contributed only 20.36 per cent. We see scope to expand the bulk drug export base, and cluster development can enable that.”

Regulators’ Meet

Pharmexcil, with the support of Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is organising an International Regulators’ Meet in Hyderabad, inviting food and drug officials from across the world on September 19 and 20. Regulators from about 25 countries are going to participate in this meet.

Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) along with Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and State drugs controllers will take part in the conference aimed at the theme ‘International Regulatory Convergence to Promote Accessibility and Affordability of Quality Medicines’.

Coinciding with the meet, Pharmexcil will present 17 export awards to the industry during the council’s Annual General Meeting on September 19.

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