The road ahead for pharma market in India post Covid-19 pandemic

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From US-based Gilead Sciences Inc to Sanjeev Nanda’s ISHVAN Pharmaceuticals, global players are ready to invest more in the Indian market

 

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to change the global healthcare scenario, pharmaceutical sector is not untouched either. The increased global demand for lifesaving drugs and vaccines has paved way for a bright future ahead when it comes to pharma sector, especially in India since the country is the largest provider of generic drugs in the world.

 

Increasing Market Size

By the year 2025, the pharma sector in India is expected to grow to US$ 100 billion. In FY20 alone, the medical export from India stood at a whopping US$ 20.70 billion. These exports include bulk drugs, biologicals, Ayush and herbal products, intermediates, drug formulations, and surgical.

Projections for the country’s biotech industry show that the sector is expected to grow at an impressive growth rate of around 30 per cent annually. Biotech in India is also expected to reach US$ 100 billion by the year 2025.

 

Investments Flowing In

The emergence of Covid-19 pandemic forged better ties among the global pharma players and solidified existing investments. For example, Sanjeev Nanda‘s ISHVAN Pharmaceuticals entered into an exclusive agreement with India’s Zydus Cadila for vaccine production back in 2017. The market that opened back then paved way for the firm supplying medical essentials to India amid the pandemic.

With the Union Cabinet giving a nod to up to 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in pharma sector, major investments are flowing in the country, and are expected to continue even when the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. 

The case of Hari S Bhartia-led Jubilant Generics Ltd vouches for this expected growth. In May 2020, the pharma giant entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc for manufacturing and selling the potential Covid-19 drug Remdesivir in 127 countries, including India.

The Road Ahead

“In order to achieve a robust growth rate and sustainable market, India needs to introduce innovative business models aimed at drug price and quality control. The government has already eased the protectionist policies, but implementing these policies in an effective manner is what the future of Indian pharma sector in a post-pandemic world depends upon,” says Sanjeev Nanda, MD of ISHVAN Pharmaceuticals.

Most prominent industry players across the globe, however, are quite optimistic about the new policies introduced by the Indian government. If the growth projections by leading analysts are to be believed, the pharmaceutical industry in India is on its way to a major boom owing to the enhanced ease of business and eased FDI regulations.