India’s pharmaceutical exports rise 11%

Pharmaceutical exports from India rose to record-high level of US$19.2 billion during 2018-19 owing to high demand from North America and Europe

April 23, 2019

Around 30% of India’s pharma export is represented by North America, while Africa and the EU measure 19% and 16%, respectively

India’s high-quality, cost-competitive pharma products have also recorded rising demand in Latin America, Central Asia, Russia and China

The Pharmaceutical industry represented 6 per cent of India’s total merchandise exports of over US$331 billion during fiscal 2018-19

Government of India’s Pharma Vision 2020 initiative aims to make the nation a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing

Pharmaceutical exports from India jumped 11 per cent to reach a record-high level of US$19.2 billion in 2018-19 owing primarily to high demand from North America and Europe, according to a report by the Press Trust of India on April 23, citing data from Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Around 30 per cent of India’s total pharma export is currently represented by North America, while Africa and the European Union measure 19 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. India’s high-quality, cost-competitive pharma products have also recorded rising demand in Latin America, Central Asia, Russia and China. The industry made up 6 per cent of India’s total merchandise exports of over US$331 billion during 2018-19.

Pharmaceutical products represent one of the leading export items for India, with exports rising over 41 per cent over the past four years. The nation is the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs and a leading supplier to the US and the UK. India supplies 50 per cent of the global demand for a wide range of vaccines and more than 80 per cent of the antiretroviral drugs used worldwide to combat AIDS. Indian pharma firms have also come up in their capacity to undertake more research and development work, beyond drugs manufacturing. Currently, there are more than 3,000 pharma companies and over 10,500 pharma manufacturing units operate in India, backed by a growing base of skilled workforce.

India has the world’s highest number of USFDA approved manufacturing sites outside the US. This has attracted investment from the world’s largest drugmakers such as Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Teva, among others. The nation is expected to have the third largest pharmaceutical market in India by 2020 in terms of incremental growth. Meanwhile, Indian pharma firms – Sun Pharmaceuticals, Lupin, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Cipla, Aurobindo Pharma – have steadily expanded their market globally. Separately, Government of India has also been empowering the pharma sector through policies such as the Pharma Vision 2020 that aims to make India a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing.

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