India is the pool of generic medicine manufacturers and suppliers. When a new medicinal product is developed and initially marketed, it is protected by a patent, which prevents other companies from marketing a similar product. Such drugs are typically referred to as “branded” or “originator” drugs. Once the patent protection has expired, other manufacturers may apply to the U.S. FDA or other such organizations for approval of their versions of the drug. “Generic,” or multiple-source drugs, are drugs for which the initial patent protection for the active ingredient has expired.
According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, generic drugs play an important role in the healthcare sector. The patents’ expiration and the introduction of multiple generic manufacturers competing against each other on price results in significant cost savings for the health care system. India is the worldwide supplier in supplying vaccines like DPT, BCG, and Measles, and India also has the highest number of US FDA-approved plants outside of the USA. The advantage of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is affordable price and high quality, and because of this, India is also known as the “Pharmacy of the World”. The total annual turnover of the industry was US$ 36.7 billion in 2019-20. One of the major milestones of the Indian Pharma Industry is access to affordable HIV drugs.
India majorly exports drug formulations & biologicals, and such products contribute to about 75% of the total pharmaceuticals exports of India.
Pharmaceutical Export Data: India
India’s pharmaceuticals and drugs in the global market sum up to 5.92%. During 2021-22, the country exported pharma products worth US$ 24.62 billion, flat over the previous year. In 2020-21, the exports grew at 18% YoY to US$ 24.4 billion. In March 2022, India exported US$ 2.4 billion worth of drugs and pharmaceuticals, a 23% increase from US$ 1.97 billion in February 2022. The USA, UK, South Africa, Russia, and Nigeria are India’s top five export destinations. India played a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic and demonstrated its ability to be a consistent and reliable pharma supplier to the world, even during times of crisis. As the country is the biggest vaccine exporter, about 65-70% of the World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine requirements are sourced from India. From April 2022-September 2022, exports of Drugs & Pharmaceuticals stood at US$ 12,724.06 million, and exports of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical products stood at US$ 4066.86 million.