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India will join top 10 sales markets by 2020

A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that India's pharma market will rise to a value of approximately $50bn by 2020

The Global pharma looks to India: prospects for growth report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts that India's pharma market will rise to a value of approximately $50bn by 2020.

Sharat Bansal, pharmaceutical and life sciences leader at PwC in India, said: "India has long been a formidable player in pharmaceutical manufacturing, but its socioeconomic strengths provide even greater grounds for optimism.

"Companies that will be most successful in doing business in India will be those that are most adept at managing and mixing a range of contractual relationships and partnership strategies to create networks of collaboration and discovery. India has huge potential and is at a stage that it can help the industry address some of the issues that it finds itself dealing with in more developed markets."

India's population is growing rapidly, as is its economy – creating a large middle-class able to afford western medicines, PwC finds. India's epidemiological profile is also changing and the population is ageing, so demand is likely to increase for drugs for cardiovascular problems, disorders of the central nervous system and other chronic diseases such as diabetes, which are increasing at an alarming rate.

Simon Friend, global pharmaceutical and life sciences leader at PwC, commented: "Global players in the pharmaceutical industry cannot afford to ignore India. The pharmaceutical industry's main markets are under serious pressure. India could be the most populous country in the world by 2050 and is now making its mark as a growing market, potential competitor or partner in manufacturing and R&D, and as a location for clinical trials."

The report highlights that India now has a growing and increasingly sophisticated pharmaceutical industry of its own. Indeed it is likely to become a competitor of global pharma in some key areas, and a potential partner in others.

It has considerable contract manufacturing expertise; Indian companies are among the world leaders in the production of generics and vaccines. India now produces more than 20 per cent of the world's generics.

Around $70bn worth of drugs are expected to go off patent in the US over the next three years. In manufacturing, big pharma companies are striking closer relationships with Indian generics to service global markets under marketing alliances such as GlaxoSmithKline–Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Pfizer–Aurobindo.

India also now ranks third in the world in terms of stem cell research.

The Indian Government has made the provision of healthcare one of its key priorities. It has launched a new policy to build more hospitals, boost local access to healthcare and improve the quality of medical training, and promised to increase public expenditure on healthcare to 2-3 per cent of GDP by 2010, up from a current low of 1 per cent.

The report suggest that there are a number of ways for foreign companies to explore opportunities in India:

• Outsourcing. Recently there has been a move from outsourcing lower value and manufacturing activities to more research-based capabilities
• Licensing is being used to establish a common platform in order to gain rapid in-market acceptance and create a complete therapy range
• Franchising. For example, US-based Medicine Shoppe International has entered the market as Medicine Shoppe India and plans to expand to 1,000 stores by the end of 2010
• Joint ventures with domestic partners bring local expertise and a local network and require government approval. Pharmaceuticals are deemed a high priority area so approvals can be quick
• Some multinational companies, such as Pfizer and Novartis, are taking advantage of the potential in India through partially or wholly owned subsidiaries.

India offers some attractive tax benefits for pharma companies such as R&D credits and income tax exemptions in special economic zones (SEZs). Reductions in customs duties should also help global manufacturers compete in the price sensitive Indian market. India will introduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April 2011, which will have transformational implication for the supply chain in domestic market.

Copies of Global pharma looks to India: prospects for growth can be downloaded from PwC

12th April 2010


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