Pharma industry to see lower growth this fiscal: IDMA president

The pharmaceutical industry in the country, which has been recording a growth of around 15% over past few years, would see a lower growth of 10-12% this fiscal year, owing to the current economic slowdown and the new Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), expects the pharmaceutical manufacturers’ association.

With the prospects increasing in exports, the association is planning to tie up with its counterparts in various countries including China, Japan and Britain, said S V Veeramani, who recently took over as the president of Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA).

“The industry has seen a mere growth of one% in August and a negative growth in September, in 2013. However, it bounced back to six% growth in November and nine% in December,” he said. The growth in November and December could also be attributed to the season, which generally see an increase in sales of antibiotics and some of the other medicines as there would be an increase in number of minor health issues due to the climate change.

The industry has seen a growth of 14.9% in 2011 and 16.6% in 2012, he said quoting reports from AIOCD Pharmasofttech AWACS, a pharmaceutical market research company of the traders’ organisation AIOCD. While the industry has seen a recovery from the slowdown, the growth for the financial year would reflect a drop of 2-3%.

The new DPCO has restricted price of 348 essential medicines based on market linked pricing and putting a cap for increase in price based on the wholesale price index of the drugs. According to the report, the industry has seen a loss of Rs 140-150 crore per month in the first couple of months due to this, he said.

However, the country continue to be a good opportunity with the health allocation in budgets going up, increased penetration of insurance and public awareness on importance of health.

The association is also looking at supporting more of its members to start exports, with the opportunities for exports are also growing.  It is entering into tie up with the China Pharmaceutical Industry Association (CPIA), IDMA’s counterpart in China, for collaboration starting with information sharing and interaction and removing bilateral trade frictions.

The tie up could eventually lead companies in both the countries work together, and even getting into joint venture where the strengths of the companies could be used for mutual benefit.  Similar discussions are going on with Osaka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (OPMA) and plans are to start discussions with British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA), which represents the interests of UK-based manufacturers and suppliers of generic medicines and promotes the development and understanding of the generic medicines industry in the United Kingdom.

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