INDIAN Pharmaceutical: an overview

It is often said that the pharma sector has no cyclical factor attached to it. Irrespective of whether the economy is in a downturn or in an upturn, the general belief is that demand for drugs is likely to grow steadily over the long-term.

The Indian pharmaceutical sector has come a long way, being almost non-existent before 1970 to a prominent provider of healthcare products, meeting almost 95 per cent of the Country’s pharmaceuticals needs. The Industry today is in the front rank of India’s science-based industries with wide ranging Capabilities in the complex field of drug manufacture and technology. It ranks very high in the third world, in terms of technology, quality and range of medicines manufactured.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the world’s second-largest by volume and is likely to lead the manufacturing sector of India. The number of purely Indian pharma companies is fairly low. Indian pharma industry is mainly operated as well as controlled by dominant foreign companies having subsidiaries in India due to availability of cheap labor in India at lowest cost. In 2002, over 20,000 registered drug manufacturers in India sold $9 billion worth of formulations and bulk drugs. 85% of these formulations were sold in India while over 60% of the bulk drugs were exported, mostly to the United States and Russia [25]. Most of the players in the market are small-to-medium enterprises; 250 of the largest companies control 70% of the Indian market . The government started to encourage the growth of drug manufacturing by Indian companies in the early 1960s, and with the Patents Act in 1970.

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