Growth in Indian pharma exports revives in the third quarter

Source: Business Standard, Feb 27, 2017

Hyderabad: Indian pharma exports have increased 5.6 per cent to $4,357 million during October-December period in this financial year over the same quarter previous fiscal, as per the Pharmaceuticalsa Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) data.

The pharma body, which works under the Union Commerce Ministry, expects the rise in exports in the second half of this year to more than compensate for a marginal decline in the exports during April-October period.

Indian pharma exports were up 9.7 per cent, at $16.89 billion in the last financial year. The January-March quarter is likely to add further momentum to the export growth seen in the October-December period, according to Pharmexcil director general Ravi Uday Bhaskar.

The country has 700 drug manufacturing units registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). More than 30 per cent of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) granted by the USFDA in 2016 are from India. This indicates an upward trend of generic exports in the coming year, he said.

Indian pharma companies have received 388 ANDAs during 2015 and 386 ANDAs in 2016 till November. They export almost 50 per cent of the total drugs produced in the country to highly regulated markets like US and Europe.

The volumes of pharma exports have remained stable, but the value has slightly come down due to price erosion in the US market, according to the companies.

The pharma exports have declined 1.96 per cent at $ 9,848.2 million during April-October this fiscal when compared to the corresponding period last fiscal.

“India’s formulation exports have witnessed two block buster products going off patent between April-November 2015 namely Aripiprazole and Esomeprazole. There is no block buster drug going off patent during the current fiscal, and the existing generics prices are coming down,” Bhasker said while explaining the causes for slowdown in pharma exports.

The US has brought in price controls on generics during September, 2015. The price controls are likely to have an effect on the future growth of Indian pharma companies. However, these controls will also help the exporters to gain market share in huge volumes and thereby help to gradually compensate loss in growth rates, Bhaskar said.

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