It is likely that the Indian pharmaceutical industry will experience almost 20 percent export expansion. The forecast for 2021-2022 is projected to be stable on the basis of vaccines, despite recording single-digit growth after months following the lockdown.
Uday Bhaskar, Director General of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), an outfit of the Ministry of Commerce, said that India's exports could rise by 11-12 per cent with the prospect of a possible COVID-19 vaccine. "As India has a huge capacity to produce vaccines, the amount of doses on the worldwide market for COVID vaccines will account for about 15 percent," he added.
Bhaskar also pointed to the European Union's possibility of increasing its production and increasing its portfolio to minimise the need for imports. "To meet much of the rapid demand spike after April, India had sufficient stocks of both bulk drugs and formulations. Alternative bulk medication suppliers (some from Europe) and local production step-ups may also be found easily," Bhaskar said.
India's pharmaceutical exports stood at $13.88 billion from April to October 2020 and are rising at 15 percent. "We forecast FY21 to end with about $25 billion in exports," he said. It will be a leap of 20% from last year.
The average growth rate declined to 2.2% in 2020. In November 2020, the Indian pharmaceutical industry stood at Rs 1,44 lakh crore as per moving annual turnover (MAT). In acute therapies such as anti-infective medications, gastrointestinal, gynaecological and pain and fever medicines, the decline in sales continues to put pressure on growth, though growth has made a strong recovery in select chronic therapies such as cardiac and diabetes. The new releases were mainly linked to drugs aligned with COVID-19 and price growth stayed in the 4-5 percent zone. Volume growth in November 2020 remains tepid at about 6.9 percent.
The pharmaceutical sector now expects that sales will normalise by the second half of 2021, with vaccine supply and COVID-19 decreasing.
Although the industry has done better than many other industries, it is still pinning its hopes on the end of the pandemic, considering the critical existence of medications.