Pharma exports grew 11% in first quarter

 thehindu.com  09/13/2019 16:57:19 

Pharma exports bucked the recessionary trend, to clock 11% growth in the first quarter this fiscal and followed it up with a robust, over 21% growth in July.

Coming at a time when most commodities are not moving in a positive direction, pharma exports are a silver lining, Ravi Uday Bhaskar, Director General of Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), said on Friday.

If the pace of growth is maintained, exports may close the fiscal at a new high of $22 billion.

That would be a more than 14% growth compared to the $19.2 billion achieved in 2018-19, he said during a media interaction here on Friday. The growth in the first four months  exports were around $6.7 billion  came on the back of better tidings in the key U.S. market, especially driven by stability in prices.

Of late, the U.S. market has stabilised. The volumes are increasing but price erosion and formation of cartels are [slowing us down], he added. The improved showing in the four months was also aided by a good show in China, the UAE and Iran.

Focus on China, Japan

The Pharmexcil, which is a body under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, is keen on pharma companies sharpening their focus on China and Japan as the two countries are the biggest markets for the industry after the U.S.

On the challenges faced by companies in tapping the export potential, he said the registration process of drugs in China was time consuming, while in Japan, the level of acceptance of generics remained low. Towards providing a forum for interaction between regulators and the industry, the council is organising the international regulators meet in Hyderabad on September 19-20.

Health regulators from about 25 countries will attend the conference.

Pharmexcil is also ready with the report of a study commissioned by the Minister to suggest strategies to reduce import dependence in APIs, KSMs and intermediates.

The report suggests a road map for making the country self-reliant in manufacturing these raw materials, a good chunk of which is being sourced from China and is valued at around $2.5 billion.

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