India is a key global supplier of affordable generic medicines. India has exported almost $4.2 billion worth of pharma products to the US in the first six months of FY21. That is almost about 36 per cent of our total exports of drugs and pharma products. Our total exports to the US and the EU make up about 55 per cent of exports.
Over the years, the Indian pharma industry has greatly evolved. India has focused on its quality management systems-GMP and further enhanced her formulation development abilities. It has now seriously initiated efforts in bringing home the KSM and API sector. On the GMP front, India has the highest number of US FDA approved sites in the world outside of the US, over 660 sites. Indian companies have developed capabilities as CMRO, having expertise in complex generics and difficult-to-manufacture APIs and formulations. Now, a further push on API front will make India stronger and more formidable a force with end to end advantages in this sector.
During the last six months, at the peak of global disruption, Indian global exports of pharma have grown by +11 per cent in the first quarter (April-June) and +19 per cent in the second quarter (July-Sept). Growth of pharma exports to the US in the same period was about +15 per cent. Nine out of the top 25 global generic companies in the US markets are from India.
The world looks at India with a lot of optimism, more so in the pharma sector. As a vibrant democracy, and, as a stable and dependable nation, we are a natural ally to the US, as also to the world. Should the incoming US government look for strong areas for the US-India relationship, pharma should be up on the priority list. The US can utilise the capacity and competency of the Indian pharma sector, by not only outsourcing its current generic needs, but also by hand holding the Indian industry, and helping to strengthen mutual trust and respect. In the long term, this would be a win-win for both nations. India has ample strengths in being a hub for APIs, vaccines, biologics and generics for the US.
In this world shadowed by gloom, the Indian pharma industry comes with a ray of hope, as a potential torchbearer of the aspiration of modern India. An India equipped to be a global superpower, at least in the pharma sector.