Over the past two decades, India has shifted its manufacturing focus from active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to finished drug formulations due to the greater profit potential in bulk drug manufacture, said Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) delegate Ravi Uday Bhaskar.
“We are importing most APIs from China,” he told us at CPhI Worldwide last month. “We are dependent [on Chinese APIs] not only from the exporting point of view, but dependent in the domestic market.
“Indian companies are realising that we need to build up a strategy to reduce the import dependence of APIs, as well as intermediates and chemicals.”
According to Ravi Uday Bhaskar, revising India’s pharmaceutical manufacturing techniques could reduce its dependence on ingredient and finished product trade.
Specifically, he said Indian firms need to revise manufacturing techniques to make intermediates – an API starting material – in order to become global players in the pharmaceutical space.
“Once you reach that level, and you are addressing the domestic needs, you are an international player,” he told us.
“This is the point in time when we have to do two things: we have to reduce premiums, and go for innovation. This is the focus of the Indian industry.”
He added Pharmexcil is working with the government, trade bodies and manufacturing bodies to help move the industry in this direction.
Correction: Original article stated views from IBEF, which has now been changed to Pharmexcil.