Pharmaceutical Exports from India

Published on: Wed May 15 2024

Sonu Gupta

LinkedIn - Sonu Gupta
Pharmaceutical Exports from India

Pharmaceutical Exports from India

India plays a big role in the global pharmaceutical and vaccine industry. It's the biggest source of generic medicines worldwide. About one-fifth of all medicines and almost two-thirds of vaccines come from India. In terms of how much medicine it makes, India ranks third globally and fourteenth in terms of its value. The Indian pharmaceutical industry covers various areas like over-the-counter medicines, generics, vaccine ingredients, vaccines, similar biological products, and making medicines for others.
India is known for providing vaccines like DPT, BCG, and Measles globally. It also has the most number of US FDA-approved plants outside the USA. What makes India stand out is that its medicines are good quality yet affordable, earning it the nickname "Pharmacy of the World". In the financial year 2022-2023, the industry made about $49.78 billion, and in 2021-2022, it made $41.68 billion. One significant achievement is how India has made HIV drugs accessible to many people. Additionally, India is a major source of low-cost vaccines worldwide.
Most of India's pharmaceutical exports are drug formulations and biological products, making up around three-quarters of all pharmaceutical exports from India.

Export Trend

India has about 5.71% of the global market for pharmaceuticals and drugs. Most of what India exports are formulations and biologics, making up around 72.54% of its exports, followed by drug intermediates and bulk drugs. From April 2023 to February 2024, India exported pharmaceuticals worth $25.02 billion, slightly less than the $25.4 billion in the previous year. In 2021-2022, the exports were valued at $24.59 billion, and in 2020-2021, they grew by 18% to $24.44 billion. Despite global supply chain issues, lockdowns, and reduced manufacturing, India's pharmaceutical exports performed well.
The top five destinations for India's pharmaceutical exports in the financial year 2022-2023 were the USA, Belgium, South Africa, the UK, and Brazil. India played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic, showing its ability to consistently supply pharmaceuticals to the world even in crisis.
India has the most US FDA-compliant companies with plants outside of the USA. Eight out of every 20 global generic companies are Indian, and more than half of India's exports go to tightly regulated markets. Being the largest vaccine exporter, India provides around 65-70% of the World Health Organization's vaccine needs.

Export Destinations

India sells pharmaceutical products to North America, Africa, the EU, ASEAN, Latin America & Caribbean (LAC), the Middle East, Asia, CIS, and other European regions. Almost two-thirds of India's exports go to NAFTA, Europe, and Africa. In the financial year 2022-23, the top five countries buying Indian pharmaceuticals were the USA, Belgium, South Africa, the UK, and Brazil.
During that year, the USA, Belgium, and South Africa were the biggest buyers from India, accounting for 29.72%, 2.82%, and 2.59% respectively. India's exports to these countries in FY23 were valued at $7.54 billion for the USA, $714.92 million for Belgium, $657.0 million for South Africa, $647.68 million for the UK, and $642.67 million for Brazil. The value of India's pharmaceutical exports to the USA grew at an average annual rate of 6.18% over the past year. For Belgium and South Africa, the growth rates were even higher, at 59.2% and 7.23% respectively over the same period.
According to the latest data from the USFDA, Indian pharmaceutical companies have received the most market authorizations, with 6,316 approvals as of April 2023. In the first half of 2023, 410 Type II Drug Master Files (DMFs) were submitted, a 17% increase from the first half of 2022. By January 2023, Indian firms had filed 4,505 DMFs (Type II Active). USFDA inspections were halted for the past couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have now resumed, which is expected to further boost Indian exports to the USA.

Government Initiatives

The Government of India has introduced various schemes to support the pharmaceutical industry. One such scheme, the Strengthening of Pharmaceutical Industry (SPI), focuses on enhancing existing infrastructure with a total budget of Rs. 500 crore (US$ 64.5 million).
Another scheme, the Production Linked Incentive (PLI), aims to boost domestic manufacturing of 41 critical pharmaceutical ingredients. It has a budget of Rs. 6,940 crore (US$ 834 million) until 2029-30. By September 2023, 48 projects were approved, attracting Rs. 3,938.57 crore (US$ 473 million) in investment and creating 9,618 jobs. Additionally, 27 projects have begun, with Rs. 3,063 crore (US$ 368 million) invested and 2,777 jobs created. In FY 2022-23, Rs. 4.34 crore (US$ 0.52 million) was released as incentives.
Other PLI schemes for pharmaceuticals, key starting materials (KSMs), medical devices, bulk drug parks, etc., have been introduced to encourage manufacturers. The government aims to boost investment and production in the pharmaceutical sector, expecting incremental sales of Rs. 2,94,000 crore (US$ 37.09 billion) over six years, starting from 2022-23.
The Pharmaceutical Promotion and Development Scheme (PPDS), initiated in 2017, provides financial support for seminars, conferences, exhibitions, and delegations to promote the Indian pharmaceutical industry.
The Pharmaceutical Technology Upgradation Assistance Scheme (PTUAS) assists small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in meeting WHO-GMP standards, enabling them to compete globally.
The "Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana" (PMBJP), originally launched as the "Jan Aushadhi Scheme" in 2008, aims to provide affordable, quality generic medicines to all.

Governing Body

Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil)
Pharmexcil is a group set up by the Government of India to help the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Its job is to advise the government, hold seminars and meetings about exporting, arrange business meetings in India and other countries, and organise trade trips. The group also helps its members get Market Access Incentive (MAI) claims from the Government of India.
Department of Pharmaceuticals
The Department of Pharmaceuticals was created in 2008 to focus on improving the pharmaceutical sector in the country. Its main tasks are to make sure medicines are available at fair prices, oversee Central Pharma Undertakings, support projects, and revive schemes, ensure good management, develop human resources and infrastructure, come up with plans and projects each year, manage the budget, and monitor how the budget is spent.


India makes lots of medicines and vaccines that are important all over the world. Even when things get tough, like when it's hard to get all the stuff needed to make medicines, India keeps going strong. The government helps out by having plans to make things better and create more jobs. India's medicines are popular in places like the USA, Belgium, and South Africa. Groups like Pharmexcil and the Department of Pharmaceuticals are there to help too. Overall, India wants to make sure everyone can get good medicines without paying too much, which is really important for healthcare.


Q.1 Who is the father of pharma ?
Ans . M. L. Schroff is recognized as the Father of Pharmacy Education in India.
Q.2 Which country is the pharma king ?
Ans . The pharma king of the world is India.
Q.3 Name the biggest pharma company.
Ans. Pfizer is the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company.
Q.4 Who owns  Pfizer ?
Ans. Its top three individual shareholders are Frank A. D'Amelio, Mikael Dolsten, and Albert Bourla.
Q.5 Who is the CEO of CIPLA ?
Ans. Mr.Umang Vohra


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