Government has taken several measures, including setting up of an inter-departmental committee to look into export-related issues and awareness programmes in emerging markets like Africa, to boost pharmaceutical exports, reports media.
Pharmaceutical sector has huge potential in terms of increasing exports, the Commerce Ministry is taking many measures to boost overseas shipments, a ministry official said.
Pharma exports account for 10 percent of the global market by volume and 1.4 percent by value. The industry is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate ( CAGR) of 14.5 percent over 2009-2020 to reach USD 55 billion.
The official said an inter-ministerial committee to resolve export-related issues has been set up. Besides, the ministry has prepared a ‘guidance document on pharma procurement’ to help authorities in Africa, Latin America and South Asia in their purchasing programmes.
Awareness programmes about Indian pharma industry have also been started in these markets and workshops are being organised with USFDA for Indian drug regulators and the industry.
The Commerce Ministry is depending on the sector to boost the country’s exports, which are in the negative zone since December last year.
India’s pharma exports grew by about 3 percent to USD 15.34 billion in 2014-15.
According to a foreign trade policy statement, the pharmaceutical sector is beset with several challenges. Most of these challenges arise out of the enviable reputation of India as a reliable supplier of generic medicines.
“Awareness programmes and workshops with drug regulators will help us in dealing with these challenges,” the official added.
The challenges include campaigns to malign generic products as being in violation of India’s IPR commitments; alleged lack of compliance of generic medicines coming out of India, with quality standards; India’s over dependence on some sources for its active pharmaceutical ingredients; and India’s pricing policies forcing Indian exporters to price their products with extremely low margins.
To ensure traceability and tracking of the drugs manufactured in India, bar-coding for all exports except primary level packaging have been made compulsory from July 1.