India claims to be world leader in generics exports

Generics/General | Posted 17/03/2010 post-comment0 Post your comment

The Indian government has said that India ranks top in the world in exporting generic medicines, with a worth of 50,000 billion rupees a year. The country is now exporting to more than 200 nations worldwide, and exports totalled around US$8 billion in 2008-9, the majority going to the US and Europe, according to ‘Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikanta Jena’. ‘The industry’s achievements could create more than 500,000 high-value jobs in India and provide the nation with low-cost treatments for life-threatening conditions such as malaria and tuberculosis’, he added.


The Minister was speaking at the opening of three generic drug stores in Orissa, the fifth Indian state to launch a national campaign for universal access to generic medicines. Included in the campaign, entitled Jan Ausadhi Abhiyan, will be publicity and education to make patients aware that cheaper generics are as effective as their branded equivalents, said the Minister, and he called on the industry to support these initiatives “in a big way.”

As reported by PharmaTimes, Indian drugmakers have responded cautiously to the recent Union Budget 2010-2011 proposals, warning that the 14% increase planned for the Health Ministry’s budget will not be sufficient to meet the government’s goal of a 1–2% increase in Gross Domestic Product spending on health care. They have welcomed the fact that excise duties on finished pharmaceutical products seem set to remain at 4%, but believe that the increase in Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) from 15–18% is a disincentive for industry, and could increase prices of medicines to consumers by around 2%, although other commentators believe that drugmakers will pass the MAT rise on only selectively, or not at all.

The firms have welcomed the budget’s proposed increase in weighted deductions from 150– to 200% on in-house R & D expenditures (although the industry had asked for 300%), and from 125–175% for payments to national laboratories, research associations, colleges, universities and other institutions for scientific research. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Sun Pharmaceuticals will particularly benefit from this concession, according to an analysis by the Business Standard newspaper.

However, the Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises points out that a significant portion of R & D costs for biotechnology companies – such as filing international patents and conducting clinical trials - are not in-house, but are legitimate R & D costs which should be covered under the weighted deduction scheme.

Meantime, China has said it “more than welcomes” the presence of drugmakers from India as it implements its massive healthcare reform plans. Speaking in March 2010 at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, China’s Health Minister Mr Chen Zhu pointed to his country’s “huge potential” for healthcare services and medicine and added: “we know India's pharmaceutical sector, including non-generic and creative medicine, is leading the developing world.”


Lynne Taylor. India leads the world in generics exports, says govt. PharmaTimes. 2010 March 10.

India ranks top in generic drug exports. SME times. 2010 March 8.

Source: PharmaTimes; SME times

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