How the country’s pharmaceutical sector evolved since attaining independence

Since India’s independence on August 15, 1947, the country’s pharmaceutical industry has grown tremendously over the past few decades and has become a major supplier of pharmaceuticals to countries around the world. The industry has passed many milestones, from non-existence in the 1960s to supplying more than 200 countries with essential medicines to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, India has a worldwide reputation for manufacturing high quality and low cost generic drugs.

India’s pharmaceutical industry was valued at an estimated US$42 billion in 2021. After years of development, the industry has become the world’s largest supplier of generic drugs by volume, accounting for 20% of global pharmaceutical exports , and the world’s largest vaccine supplier, accounting for 50% of the above global vaccine production.

According to the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the turnover of the domestic pharmaceuticals market reached 1,290.15 billion rupees ($18.12 billion) in 2018, up 9 .4% year over year, and exports revenue was US$17.28 billion in FY18 and US$19.14 billion in FY19.

The changing face of the pharmaceutical industry after Independence!

Before independence, the framework and operation of the pharmaceutical sector was limited to the import of APIs. There are no major advanced generic drug manufacturers in the country and the growth rate is low. After several revisions of the whole setup, India experienced tremendous growth in pharmaceuticals after independence. Over the past two decades, the country can record 10 power purchase agreements (PPAs) growth in the pharmaceutical industry. Today, India can meet nearly 95% of its domestic API needs. Today, the primary formulation of all branded and generic drugs is made here.

Today, the pharmaceutical industry produces a wide range of drugs, including vitamins, antibiotics, semi-synthetic penicillins, steroids, hormones and synthetic phytochemicals. Medical professionals and scientists are qualified enough to determine the complete scope and process of pharmaceuticals. An increase in overall market turnover and an increase in exports indicate progress in the sector.

After independence, the pharmaceutical industry increased its presence in the market and broadened the skills of professionals in the medical industry. From an importer of basic generic drugs to the holder of the largest inventory of drugs in the world, the journey of medicine is invaluable. Even after such growth rates, potential drugs reach only 40% of the population in our urban areas. This proves the prospects in the domestic market and the possibility of finding customers in the pharmaceutical industry.

Development of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

The growth and development of the Indian pharmaceutical industry can be divided into four stages. The first stage was before 1970, when the Indian market was dominated by foreign companies with little domestic participation. The second stage is the period from 1970 to 1990. During this time, several local businesses began to operate. The Indian Patents Act 1970 was enacted during this time.

Also, export initiatives were undertaken during the period 1990-2010, constituting the third phase. During this period, liberalization led Indian components to start doing business overseas. The Patent Act was amended in 2005 resulting in the adoption of product patents in India. During this period, India has become a major producer of generic drugs.

Pharmaceutical industry in India

Currently, the Indian pharmaceutical industry provides more than 60% of the global supply needs of various vaccines and antiretroviral drugs, 30% of UNICEF’s annual global supply and nearly 80%-60%% of UN pharmaceutical supply comes from India. In addition, the country has also contributed nearly 57% of APIs and 69% of FPPs (Finished Pharmaceutical Products) to the WHO’S pre-qualified list. Moreover, India supplies about 40% of the generic drug needs of the United States. All this is possible due to various initiatives aimed at promoting the local pharmaceutical industry. According to reports, the pharmaceutical industry can significantly contribute to the country’s vision of “Make and Discover in India”, worth $12 billion to $130 billion by 2030.

Final words

Recently, digitization has also appeared as a key driver of the pharmaceutical industry, helping to deliver a superior, highly personalized customer experience and improve business resilience and performance. There is no doubt that digitalization will play an active role in the agility of the pharmaceutical value chain by bringing the industry closer to patients and doctors. Most importantly, the pharmaceutical industry must continue to innovate by producing new effective drugs/formulations to address emerging and unmet healthcare needs. Such a step will transform the industry into an innovation hub of the future.

Share On

Recent Posts

Future of Ethanol in India

What could green hydrogen mean for India?

Follow Us

Support Number
Scroll to Top