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Indian Pharma - Reviving Our Engines
"The Indian pharma story is on a strong footing, and I expect that in the years to come, the going will get better," notes
Dr Kamal K Sharma, Managing Director, Lupin Limited.

The advent of the Indian pharmaceutical Industry is a phenomenal global success story. The Indian Pharma Industry has in the last decade gone from being world leaders in API’s and intermediates to being the best quality manufacturers of Formulations globally. The Indian Pharma Industry today is the third largest manufacturer of drugs (by volume) globally and are the undisputed leaders in the generics pharmaceutical space specifically in the advanced markets of the Unites States and Europe.

In the last decade, Indian generics companies have matched the rigorous quality standards of their international counterparts, and sometimes, even exceeded them. Today, Indian pharma players like Lupin are not only a trailblazer globally having strengthened leadership positions in advanced markets of US and Japan but we have also emerged as the hotbeds for drug research and drug delivery systems. Lupin today is an USD 1.45 billion major, ranked 9th by market capitalisation amongst generic pharmaceutical companies globally. We remain the 5th largest and fastest growing generics player in the US (5.5 per cent market share by prescriptions, IMS Health) and the 7th largest in Japan, the only Asian company to achieve the distinction of not only being in the top 10 but also the fastest growing generic player in the two largest markets of the world. The company is also the fastest growing top 10 pharmaceutical player in India (ranked 3rd) and South Africa (ranked 6th) - IMS Health.

As the market for biologicals opens up globally, Indian Pharma players who have or are investing in the space could look at the creation of future revenue streams there; biotech very well could emerge as a new area for Indian pharma to enforce and build on its reputation as a quality leader in the global pharma context. The Indian pharma story is on a strong footing, and I expect that in the years to come, the going will get better. The single most important driver of this growth will be research, and we are well poised to ride high on this wave. That said, with a vast majority of innovator drugs slated to go off patent, multinationals are looking towards emerging markets to populate their drying pipeline and expand market share, and some very unlikely bedfellows have emerged as a result. The courting period has only just begun – going forward, one can expect to see greater cooperation and pronounced overlaps between MNCs and Indian companies. The lines dividing the two are blurring quickly and the empires of the future might well rise from our very own backyard.

Another key sign of the times to come will be a greater emphasis on specialisation. The pharmaceutical market of tomorrow will be distinctly divided into three entities – companies that will be primarily research driven, companies that will hinge heavily on marketing and OTC products, and finally, companies that will follow a predominantly serviceled model. The first set, the ‘researchers’, will be the torchbearers of innovation, and will comprise the top 10-15 companies of today. This will be a high risk and rich return model – biologicals, novel drugs and delivery systems will form its core. The product-driven companies will rest heavily on marketing of OTC brands, with a smaller portion of their efforts devoted to research. And finally, the service providers – these companies will specialise in contract research, manufacturing and will harness the quintessential Indian scientific talent and manufacturing prowess to carry out global clinical trials and formulations production.