The pharmaceutical sector of India commenced operations almost six decades back. That was in direct response to address the local demand and to provide medicines at reasonable prices. In that phase, imports constituted the major chunk of medicines being used in India. The industry then was hindered by limited opportunities and technologies. |
Once the domestic players established themselves firmly, they began making efforts to expand their operations in the global market. The salient points concerning the trends and opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry in India are as follows:
• There is a high demand for generic medicines both within the country and also worldwide. Pharma companies are thus focusing on enhancing the efficiency of their processes. For achieving this objective, these companies are working in coordination with manufacturers of equipment.
• There has been a noteworthy increase in the volume of filings and drug approvals, by indigenous pharma companies. Tough competition among these players would consistently be present for subsequent years.
• The stringent protectionism and price control seen in several markets of the world is likely to have an impact on Indian exports.
• As of the financial year 2017-18, India had exported well over 50% of the entire generic medicines produced in the country, to roughly 200 countries. The US has been the biggest market for Indian generics.
• It has been observed that the rate of attrition in the country's pharma sector is abnormally high. After every 36 months or so, nearly all pharma companies are entailed to operate with a completely new set of employees.
• The increased costs, coupled with strict regulations, are compelling many big pharma companies to focus more on CRAMS (contract manufacturing and research services). These entities now prefer to enter the Indian market. This is because of the lower costs and because a significant percentage of the country's population needs medicines.
• The formulations' manufacturing cost in India is lesser when compared with many markets in Europe and China.
• Every year, several fresh graduates who completed their B. Pharma/M. Pharma will be available to be recruited in leading pharma companies. In this connection, the advantageous position of India is second to none.
• The companies of the Indian pharma industry are now focusing on high- end products such as emulsions and microspheres. The research & development related to the manufacture of these products are being enhanced, as well.
• The pressure resulting from rising cost of production is seriously affecting the profit margins. In this respect, businesses are better off by concentrating on products that can be manufactured in a simple way and reducing new launches.
• Compliance with regulations is one more issue that has become challenge for many companies. Though recently numerous companies successfully cleared the regulatory audits, still many players are lagging behind, in this regard.
Notwithstanding the problems, the pharma companies of India are expected to register phenomenal growth, if these three areas are prioritized:
• Developing enhanced quality systems that enable compliance with regulatory requirements.
• Putting more effort in the realm of operational excellence.
• Seeking alternatives in sourcing and endeavoring for self-reliance in intermediaries/APIs.
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