India’s Pharma Exports Grow By 3 Percent Says Pharmexcil DG

Hyderabad : Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (PHARMEXCIL) Director General Ravi Uday Bhaskar said India’s pharmaceuticals export during April 2022 till March 2023 was US$ 25.4 billion, registering a growth rate of nearly three percent.

For the 2023-24 financial year, pharmaceuticals exports were expected to be nearly US$ 28 billion. Amidst the increasing exports, India’s imports had reduced by 10.5 percent in the last financial year and it was expected to decrease further in the current financial year, he said, adding in April 2023, the imports decreased by 23 per cent.

PHARMEXCIL conducted a survey and identified the products being imported and how to cut down the dependency. Accordingly, short term and long term goals were framed, he said here on Tuesday.

In the days to come, India needs to work and spend more on research and development. The pharma industry needs to work on innovations as relying more on manufacturing generic formulations would not suffice since other countries too would start manufacturing the same. Already, most countries were trying to replicate what India has been doing, he said.

“We need to think about alternative areas to sustain India’s image as Pharmacy of the World. Complex generics, biosimilars, biopharmaceuticals, developing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and basic chemical industry could be the areas,” said Uday Bhaskar.

Governments were focusing on setting up pharma parks but not on chemical parks. Earlier, countries used to depend on Europe for chemical components and now China has taken over, he said.

The Chinese chemical industry was a 1.73 trillion USD industry and they were still the leaders of APIs, basic chemicals and intermediates. India imports about 65 to 70 per cent of API, intermediates or key starting materials used in different formulations. There was a need to reduce the dependence and the union government introduced the PLI scheme to address the issue, he explained.

As of April 2023, India has 703 manufacturing sites (API and FDF) registered with USFDA. In the last two years, USFDA inspections were not up to the expected level and many facilities were still waiting for the USFDA audit. Since covid pandemic, most inspections were still being conducted virtually and normalcy was yet to be restored in terms of inspections.

As a result, the number of 734 USFDA registered manufactured sites in the country came down to 703 sites. The Ministry of Commerce was taking up the issue with the US authorities to increase the inspections, he said.

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