Currently, the organized Indian pharmaceutical industry including exports is at US$ 45 billion, Rs 16,000 crore (US$ 20.5 billion) in the domestic markets for drugs, and US$ 24.47 billion in global exports. Locally produced drugs make up over 90% of the current domestic market.
The growth has been meteoric since the 1970s with the coming of the Indian patents act which allowed the use of alternative processes to manufacture proprietary drugs. The government’s 1978 drug policy and the price control order of 1979 increased the production of bulk formulations. The economic liberalization of 1991 that did away with licensing capacities and the TRIPS regime brought fundamental changes to the country’s patent laws.
A couple of the industry leaders such as Satish Reddy of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Sudarshan Jain the secretary general of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance recently spoke about Indian pharma’s goals for 2047, the 100th anniversary of Indian independence, to Sohini Das of The Business Standard on page 2 – of the 10 August 2022 edition. What is interesting in that discussion and excellent article, is that apart from raising the goal of US$ 400 to US$ 450 as a target for the pharm industry, they speak of the confidence of the industry pioneers such as Anji Reddy the founder of Dr Reddy’s and Yusuf Hamied of CIPLA in their company’s capabilities to discover new molecules and drugs.
They also speak of raising quality standards and enhancing the entire ecosystem with better financing, faster approvals for clinical trials, and the investments needed in research and innovation – all critical for growing the industry by ten times in the next 25 years. They suggest there is a need for many more research-driven start-ups and hubs such as those in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Apart from the quarter-century target of breaking into the top 5 pharma production countries by 2047, the industry leaders have an intermediate 8-year goal of entering the top 10 club of countries by pharma production value by 2030.