Indian Pharmaceutical Industry and The New Patent Regime

B.C. Nirmal

Abstract: The pharmaceutical industry is an important component of the health care system in our country. In value terms the Indian pharma industry is the 14th largest producer of drugs in the world although in terms of volume it is fourth longest producer of drugs. The industry is well developed and capable to produce and sell practically all the drugs required in the country. According to available information it produces over 400 bulk drugs that go into around 60,000 packs of formulations and over 600 companies are in the field of drug production. The Indian companies supply a large number of generic bulk drugs and their formulation to the global market. According to a study conducted by MSF, 67 percent of the medicines produced in India are exported to developing countries. Nearly 50 percent of the drugs procured by the U.N. Children Fund in developing countries come from India. In Zimbabwe, 75 percent of the tenders for medicines for all public sector health facilities come from India. The National Drug Supply Organisation, the state procurement agency of Lesotho buys nearly 95 percent of all antiretroviral from India. The leading companies in India have acquired over 20 companies aboard and the Indian industry has now become global in certain segments. The largest Indian companies have sales turnovers of $ 50 million to $ 1.2 billion. Although this size of sales turnover is relatively small as compared to annual sales of the leading MNCs of U S, Europe and Japan which are in the range of $ 5 billion to $ 50 billion, the position of the Indian industry as a global player is widely acknowledge and Indian companies have adequate capabilities to create riche position in the global market in the days to come.

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