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History/ Introduction


The Indian pharmaceutical industry is driving product development and breaking new grounds in medicine research worldwide. India’s generic drugs account for 20% of global exports in terms of volume, making India the largest provider of generic medicines globally. India is likely be the third largest pharmaceuticals market by 2020 in terms of incremental growth.

The Indian pharmaceuticals market increased at a CAGR of 17.46 per cent during 2005-16 with the market increasing from US$ 6 billion in 2005 to US$ 36.7 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 45 Billion in revenue by 2020, revenue of USD 55 billion by 2020 as base case, and can grow to USD 70 billion in an aggressive case scenario.

India’s cost of production is significantly lower than that of the USA and almost half of that of Europe. Recently, approval time for new facilities has been drastically reduced, making India a potential destination. India has a large pool of skilled workforce possessing high managerial and technical competence facilitating drug discovery, pharmaceutical development and innovation.


In the last five decades, the journey of the Indian biotech industry has been transformational, making it a sunrise industry for Indian growth on the global frontier. The country is currently amongst the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region. The Indian biotech industry includes 800 companies, records the second-highest number of USFDA–approved plants (only after the United States), and has generated annual revenue of approximately $11.6 billion in FY2017. Increasing government expenditure, supportive policies, rising exports, and a skilled workforce have augmented growth in the biotechnology industry.

Despite this successful journey so far, concerted efforts are significantly needed on the research and innovation frontier needed for developing complex biosimilar and novel biologics. Today, India has world-class strengths in chemical, biological, and environmental sciences alongside a fabulous process engineering community. Taking this into consideration, the priority is for India to develop a “well-linked innovation ecosystem” to incubate and commercialize high-risk and high-value novel biotechnological products at scale.