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The Indian pharmaceuticals market is the third largest in terms of volume and thirteenth largest in terms of value, as per a report by Equity Master. Branded generics dominate the pharmaceuticals market, constituting nearly 70 to 80 per cent of the market. India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume. Of late, consolidation has become an important characteristic of the Indian pharmaceutical market as the industry is highly fragmented. India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. The country also has a large pool of scientists and engineers who have the potential to steer the industry ahead to an even higher level.

According to India Ratings, a Fitch company, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is estimated to grow at 20 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. The Indian pharma industry, which is expected to grow over 15 per cent per annum between 2015 and 2020, will outperform the global pharma industry, which is set to grow at an annual rate of 5 per cent between the same period1. Presently the market size of the pharmaceutical industry in India stands at US$ 20 billion. As on March 2014, Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stood at 523, highest for any country outside the US.

Indian pharmaceutical firms are eyeing acquisition opportunities in Japan's growing generic market as the Japanese government aims to increase the penetration of generic drugs to 60 per cent of the market by 2017 from 30 per cent in 2014, due to ageing population and rising health costs.

Some of the major investments in the Indian pharmaceutical sector are as follows:
  • Cipla announced the acquisition of two US-based companies, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc., for US$ 550 million
  • Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals has started work on its largest greenfield tablet manufacturing facility in Vemgal in Kolar district, Karnataka, with an estimated investment of Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 150 million)
  • Lupin has acquired two US based pharmaceutical firms, Gavis Pharmaceuticals LLC and Novel Laboratories Inc, in a deal worth at US$ 880 million
  • Several online pharmacy retailers like PharmEasy, Netmeds, Orbimed, are attracting investments from several investors, due to double digit growth in the Rs 97,000 crore ( US$ 14.8 billion) Indian pharmacy market
  • Strides Arcolab entered into a licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences Inc to manufacture and distribute the latter's cost-efficient TenofovirAlafenamide (TAF) product to treat HIV patients in developing countries. The licence to manufacture Gilead's low-cost drug extends to 112 countries
  • Cadila Healthcare Ltd announced the launch of a biosimilar for Adalimumab - for rheumatoid arthritis and other auto immune disorders. The drug will be marketed under the brand name Exemptia at one-fifth of the price for the branded version-Humira. Cadila’s biosimilar is the first in class and an exact replica of the original in terms of safety, purity and potency of the product, claims the company
  • Torrent Pharmaceuticals entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Reliance Life Sciences for marketing three biosimilars in India — Rituximab, Adalimumab and Cetuximab
  • SRF Ltd has acquired Global DuPont Dymel, the pharmaceutical propellant business of DuPont, for US$ 20 million