India is the largest manufacturer of drugs worldwide. According to IBEF, the Indian pharmaceutical sector supplies over 50% of global demand for various vaccines. The government has taken some initiatives to promote the pharmaceutical sector in India. Government hopes, for example, to create a nearly Rs 1 lakh crore fund to boost companies’ domestic output of pharmaceutical ingredients by 2023. Also, the same website says that Medicine spending in India is expected to rise by 9-12 percent over the next five years, contributing to India being one of the top 10 medicine spending countries in the world.

Challenging Factors

While the sector continues to grow, there are some factors that may challenge its growth in the near future. Lack of stable pricing, drugs in India is not affordable for some people. 60% of the population in India does not have regular access to essential medicines just because they are pricey. Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO) and National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) work hand in hand to review the prices that are carried out on such products. Currently, the DPCO regulates 74 bulk medications. The second factor is the lack of technological capabilities. So maybe improving the innovation space would help with pharmaceutical growth.

Jan Aushadhi

The Indian Government’s Department of Pharmaceuticals has also initiated operations for a people’s medicines shop, called ‘Jan Aushadhi’, in various locations. These shops sell generic medicines at much cheaper rates than the price of corresponding branded medicines.


Vaccines are another prominent area of growth. India is one of the largest vaccine producers in the world, with many new vaccines set to be launched in the next 5 years. India currently exports vaccines to about 150 countries. PWC says that it meets around 40-70% of the World Health Organization’s demand for the DPT (diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, and tetanus).

OTC and Ayurvedic Medicines

Indian consumers also put greater focus on prevention and well-being, which should lead to continued growth in the sales of OTC vitamins and mineral products. The demand is already starkly rising. Artificial sweeteners, emergency contraceptive pills and nutritional supplements are some profitable OTC drugs.  Some of the leading OTC brands in India are registered as ‘Ayurvedic Medicines’ because of their plant-based natural active ingredients. There are no price controls on ‘Ayurvedic Medicines’.

Joint Clinic Trials for Ayurveda

India and the US intend to launch joint clinical trials against the novel coronavirus for formulations of Ayurveda. The two countries partnered to support Ayurveda through a joint program of research, teaching and training. Via collaborative activities the Indo-US Science Development Forum has also been instrumental in fostering excellence in science, technology and innovation. 

Ministry of AYUSH

AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy. The Ministry of Ayush focuses on developing education, research, and propagation of alternative indigenous medicine systems in India. It has faced strong criticism of funding schemes. Clinical quality was poor, and medicines were implemented without any clinical trials and studies. Concerns have been raised about AYUSH based healthcare.

Future Prospects

The future of the pharmaceutical sector in India would be good because-increase in the burden of diseases, rising income of individuals, improvement in healthcare infrastructure and many more things. The sector is already growing so much because of the leading coronavirus pandemic.

Pharma and Coronavirus

The impact of the pandemic and the lockdown triggered a visible effect in financial markets. Drugs that are Made in India are supplied to developed countries such as the US, EU and Japan. These drugs are known for their well-being and standards. People are going crazy over a bottle of Sanitizer. Hospitals are full. Pharmacies are always crowded. If we talk about the future, we don’t know what is ahead of us. Corona is probably here for a long time. We can’t say that no other disease will hit India in the future, so, pharmaceutical sector is expected to grow multifold and continue to be an attractive investment destination.

Economic Boost

India’s population is increasing day by day, as its economy, so demand is likely to increase for the drugs. Income levels of households will rise very steadily. Government coming with ‘Below Poverty Line’ (BPL) segment will also be profitable for the pharma sector. Also, the acceptability of modern medicine and newer therapies will increase due to aggressive market creation by players.


India’s pharmaceuticals industry has risen in faith and firmly moved onto an accelerated growth course. The main issue now lies around the real culture and the full scope of this market ‘s ability. Backed by strong fundamentals, the market is giving rise to a range of business opportunities.

Muskaan Munjal

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