"Today, India's pharmaceutical sector is a US$50 billion industry and we anticipate it growing to at least US$150 billion in less than a decade."
What is the IDMA’s role within India’s life sciences sector?
Headquartered in Mumbai, the IDMA has a Pan-India presence with eight state boards and over 1,100 members, making us the largest body of pharmaceutical manufacturers not only in India, but globally. We work to establish a presence wherever there are pharma clusters and have our eyes on expanding to Goa as well as various places in the north of the country.
India's pharmaceutical sector is a US$50 billion industry, with equal share in domestic and export markets, ranking it among the top five exporters in terms of net revenue. The country is the biggest generic manufacturer and offers the most affordable source of quality pharmaceuticals. We have the biggest menu card available in the world with 60,000 formulations made by 3,000 registered manufacturers and 10,000 manufacturing units. India supplies nearly 60% of the world's demand for vaccines. With all this in mind, the consolidation of IDMA members accounts for roughly US$20 billion revenue.
Can you share an example of an issue the association is working on?
We have several expert committees handling a variety of issues, such as increasing focus on R&D and innovation. Another of the key challenges the sector faces is the need for stronger collaboration between the life sciences and health care industries, not only for products but also solutions, to help meet the demand-supply mismatch. To be more patient centric, the ecosystem needs product push models to be complemented with service-oriented models.
What role do small-scale manufacturers play within India’s pharmaceutical ecosystem?
Small manufacturers are the bloodline of the industry. The top guns do not have the wherewithal and capacity to manufacture everything, so the sector relies on these smaller players who may not have the marketing muscle but do have strong facilities. For this reason, we have to help them with certain issues like obtaining raw materials, packaging, and machinery. The government, associations and banks are doing this. The IDMA supports progressive small-scale players in particular.
In what ways has India proven its adherence to quality standards?
The fact that we are among the largest suppliers of pharmaceutical products to highly regulated markets around the world should provide people with ample confidence that India is a reliable provider of high-quality products that meet rigorous quality standards. The fact remains that every third tablet consumed in the world was made in India. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) conducted one of the largest surveys that included nearly 48,000 drug samples from all states in India. The spurious drug incidence was only 0.0245%. That said, India is a vast country, and as goods travel from one place to another, they undergo several climate changes. As we build our infrastructure, more efficient transport of pharmaceutical products will help them retain their efficacy.
How do you see the industry evolving over the next few years?
As an industry, we are patient centric. The IDMA is very member centric. We do not want to leave any stone unturned in making sure our members fall in line with best practices, as we want our country to take advantage of the growing pharma market. Today, India's pharmaceutical sector is a US$50 billion industry and we anticipate it growing to at least US$150 billion in less than a decade. We want to keep doubling every five years, and we see IDMA as a key player in making that happen.
I also anticipate increased consolidation and collaboration. Whilst the pie is increasing, the number of manufacturers is bound to come down because everybody will take advantage of their strengths.
As a responsible industry association, IDMA members are committed to adding smiles to the faces of the ailing population, adding productive years to their lives, and improving the quality of their life, and we do so with the lowest possible cost as compared to anywhere else in the world. In an era when the world is facing serious disruption due to health crises, our role becomes even more important.