The Indian pharmaceutical industry is witnessing a profound transformation, transitioning from a generics-oriented hub to an innovation-driven pharmaceutical economy, largely attributed to its prominent Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs). This paradigm shift is illuminated in the recently published 2023 Convention on Pharmaceutical Ingredients (CPHI) annual report.

The report, accompanied by a pharmaceutical index, engaged over 250 industry executives from more than 35 countries, offering an annual snapshot of the global pharmaceutical industry’s progress and evolution. The survey shows potential trends for 2024 and assesses the standing of major pharmaceutical markets across more than ten distinct metrics.

The report’s findings divulge that the United States maintains its top-tier position across all assessed criteria. However, India has been steadily ascending year after year, positioning itself for substantial growth in 2024. Notably, India has excelled in the ‘growth category,’ consistently scoring 7.8 out of 10 for the second consecutive year, surpassing even the United States. Furthermore, India has made substantial strides in ‘biologics quality’ and is closely trailing the US in ‘overall competitiveness.’

CPHI has also unveiled a Pharma Index, amalgamating cumulative scores for various countries, evaluating their performance in the pharmaceutical industry across categories such as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API), Finished Dosage Form (FDF), Overall Competitiveness, Knowledge of Professionals, and Growth. The United States distinguishes itself with the highest scores in Overall Competitiveness and Knowledge of Professionals, securing its top position in the index with an overall score of 8.134.

India, on the other hand, is making significant progress, particularly in the Growth and Knowledge of Professionals categories, achieving an overall score of 7.456. Nonetheless, the CPHI Pharma Index experienced a slight dip, moving from 7.37 in 2022 to 7.187 in 2023, indicating potential shifts in the pharmaceutical industry landscape or variations in the relative performance of these countries.

The report foresees the emergence of an ‘India plus one’ strategy as the predominant approach in the coming five years. India is on the brink of experiencing the swiftest Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in biologicals over the next half-decade, mirroring the progress observed in China and Korea, as highlighted in the report.

Tara Dougal, Content Director of Pharma at Informa Markets, the facilitators of CPHI, said: “When you consider the data points collectively in the Annual Survey, it becomes evident that following the reset from record scores in 2022, the industry is now well-positioned for growth in 2024. Our analysts predict that outsourcing will continue its growth trajectory in 2024 and beyond, conveying a tremendously positive message for the industry.”

The report pinpoints enduring growth drivers since 2019, complemented by innovations in microbiome therapeutics, mRNA technology, and the increasing potential of AI to drive new efficiencies in the industry over the next five years. The CPHI, a comprehensive metric covering all small molecule categories in the survey, reported its second-highest-ever total, only 2.5 per cent below the peak in 2022. This robust outcome underscores the industry’s medium-term trajectory and the firm foundation of market fundamentals.