India’s life sciences industry has traversed a successful journey in the past 50 years. From an era of import dependency in the pre-1970s, high-quality local players moved the country toward self-sufficiency in life sciences by the 1990s. Since then, worldclass capabilities have helped the Indian industry build a strong global presence. In this journey, the industry has achieved several successes and has contributed significantly to the Indian economy and healthcare outcomes, in both India and abroad. These include:
- Significant contributions to the Indian economy: The life sciences industry is now the third-largest contributor to reducing India’s merchandise trade deficit. The industry generates around USD 10 billion of trade surplus every year, allowing it to neutralise around 4 to 5 per cent of total energy imports for India1. In addition, it also generates a significant number of jobs for India. Our estimates indicate that around 2.5 million people are currently employed by the industry (including some of the industries such as chemists, stockists, etc.).
- Strong position in the global life sciences industry: India has also been able to build a strong position across various segments of the market. In pharmaceuticals, India is now the eighth largest country by value globally with one of the highest growth rates2. It has also been able to build a strong position in key markets such as the US. In clinical trials, India continues to be one of the top 15 destinations globally based on the number of trials conducted between 2003 and 20133.
- Contributions in driving access and affordability: Indian industry has been a driver for access and affordability in life sciences. Indian drugs are available at an affordable price as compared to markets globally. Further, India is the primary supplier of essential medicines for numerous diseases, helping save millions of lives globally. India’s contribution extends to developed markets such as the US as well, where through its position in the generics market, the industry is significantly reducing healthcare spend4.
- World-class capabilities across the value chain: The life sciences industry has also built strong capabilities across all parts of the value chain. In manufacturing, India continues to have the highest number of FDA-approved formulation plants outside the US5. In R&D and regulatory, Indian industry has accounted for 32 per cent of the ANDA filings last year, second only to the US at 44 per cent6. The industry is now also making some initial movement in the innovation space.
In this context, we believe that the industry can aspire towards a vision of “Expanding India’s global leadership and relevance, while driving domestic access”.
By achieving this vision, the industry will continue making significant contribution to the economy and healthcare outcomes:
- Sustained economic contribution: Under this vision, the industry will sustain its growth trajectory of 11 to 12 per cent and grow 7 to 8 times to a size of USD 190 billion to 200 billion by 2030. This growth will allow the industry to drive 5 to 6 times growth in trade balance contribution to around USD 55 billion to 60 billion by 20308. This will help neutralise around 13 to 15 per cent of the estimated energy imports for India by 2030. The industry will also create nearly four million new jobs for the country over the next 15 years.
- Becoming the world’s largest and most reliable drug supplier: The Indian life sciences industry can aspire to become the world’s largest supplier of drugs globally by volume and third largest by value. This can be enabled by the leadership position that the industry can secure in the US, and in other emerging markets. Beyond value, the industry will also continue its contribution towards saving millions of lives by maintaining the supply of essential medicines and driving significant reduction in healthcare spend across major markets.
- Providing every Indian access to high-quality, affordable drugs, and bringing the latest drugs to India: The industry can work towards a goal of further deepening drug penetration in the Indian market. We believe that by adopting innovative models and government support, the industry can aspire to drive a 3–4 times increase in the number of treated patients across disease areas9. The industry can also continue to play a crucial role in ensuring the availability of new upcoming drugs to Indian patients.
- Building a globally recognised position for India in the innovation space: India could adopt an enterprise-led approach to drive innovation, given its strong and dynamic local industry. Under this approach, we believe that the industry can aspire to build a strong innovation pipeline (around 1 NME and 10–12 incremental innovation launches per year by 2030), drive significant economic upside (exports of around USD 16 billion to 18 billion by 2030)10, and deliver better health outcomes for the country.