Indian pharmaceutical industry can become "partner of choice" in US. Photo: iStock

A leading data and analytics company which provides intelligence to global pharmaceutical brands says Indian drug makers should capitalise on the escalating US-China trade war.

The US and China are key markets for Indian pharmaceutical industry. Recently the US has excluded pharmaceuticals as a category from the list of trade war tariffs. This, according to GlobalData, presents an opportunity for the Indian pharmaceutical industry to become the “partner of choice” by strengthening its position in the US market.

The data company forecasts the Indian pharmaceutical market to increase from nearly $30.8bn last year to more than US$38.3bn by 2022.

According to figures from the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India, the US accounted for more than 30% of total Indian pharma exports or $5.82bn worth of value in 2018-19, which is the highest among all the countries.

Nearly 80% of the bulk drugs requirement in the US is said to be met by India and China.

A pharma analyst at GlobalData, Prashant Khadayate, says: “The US is cautious of the fact that any disruption related to supply of bulk drugs from China due to a trade war could have a drastic impact on the overall US pharmaceutical industry supply chain.”

“China is dependent on the US for the drug formulations import. The Indian pharma industry can take advantage of this situation as it has proven abilities in both drug formulations and the bulk drugs category.”

“Therefore, it is pertinent to focus on the drug formulations category for China and help US pharma companies in fulfilling their bulk supply requirements from India.

“This category is currently dominated by China due to cost efficiency; therefore, Indian players will need to improve their bulk drugs manufacturing capabilities in order to offer more competitive pricing and to gain a stronghold in the US,” Khadayate adds.

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