Domestic drug makers are exploring avenues in new markets like China and Japan and refocussing on reviving markets like Africa, CIS and Europe to combat rising price pressures in North American markets. The Director General of Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India , Ravi Uday Bhaskar said that Indian regulators are currently working with their Chinese counterparts towards enabling local drug makers to get greater access to the Chinese market by way of expediting timelines for product approvals for critical life-saving drugs. Indian Commerce Ministry expects the country’s pharmaceutical exports to record $19 billion this fiscal backed by 14% growth in exports to North America.
Indian pharmaceutical companies like Hetero Labs, Aurbindo Pharma, Encure and Lupin are increasingly looking at setting up manufacturing facilities in China. India is currently heavily dependent on imports from China for 30 to 40 APIs, KSMs and intermediaries; importing pharma products worth $2 billion and exporting worth $200 million only. Bhaskar said
‘Pharmexcil, with the support from the commerce ministry, has formed a think tank and brought CSIR labs and industry on one platform for devising strategies to reduce the dependence on China and to make India self-sufficient by developing technologies to manufacture those APIs, KSMs and intermediates indigenously to improve the export potential in APIs.’
To save on forex outgoes, Indian regulators are firming up detailed project reports on key active pharmaceutical ingredients, key starting material and intermediates required to be developed indigenously.