India has a vast pharma market, and is rightly celebrated in international circles for making medicines very affordable and low-priced. As of 2003, the Indian industry was supplying 20 percent of the world's drugs (by volume) and is currently one of the largest pharma industries in the world (by volume). At least 60manufacturing plants in India have US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval, second only to theUnited States. Currently a dozen top Indian companies are major suppliers to the US and European marketas well as China.In 2005, India's drug prices were among the lowest in the world (dollar terms and even in purchasing powerparity terms) with China as the possible exception for even lower prices.India's homegrown drug companies have outstripped Western MNCs
(see Tables 1 and 2 and 3). Butin comparison to worldwide pharma majors, the sales of entire Indian drug industry was US $ 10 billion(about Rs 40,000 cr) in 2005 whereas the sales of the top 15 companies in the world in 2004 was more than US$ 400 billion. In 2004, US drug companies spent more than US $ 33 billion in research whereas Western drug companies spent only US $ 33 million in India on R and D. Indian drug companies all put together spent US $0.3 billion on R and D. Just to give an idea of the disparity, merely world pharmaceutical packaging demand will reach US$ 22.20 billion in 2007. The US will remain the largest consumer of drug packaging while China
generates the fastest gains.Nevertheless, the booming Indian pharma market coming to the rescue of generics world over, especially by making low priced antiretrovirals, is a good part of the story. The not so good part is that the Indian pharmascenario, as far as the ordinary poor consumer is concerned, is a failure of the market. As a result of this extreme market failure and failure of regulation in the absence of well-functioning markets, the drug (medicines) availability situation in India is one of poverty amidst adequacy - there isinadequate access and supply of even essential drugs to the poor despite adequate drug production. Adding to this misery is the poorly functioning public health system. While the sales of Indian Pharma
Marketing of Drugs
This branch of medicine had commonly been reckoned one of themost lucrative; for the subjects of it are generally found amongthe affluent: they are seldom without some complaint that requiresassistance; and they measure their comforts too often by thequantity of medicine that is served up.
. A View of the Nervous Temperament Being a PracticalEnquiry into the Increasing Prevalence, Prevention,and Treatmentof Those Diseases Commonly Called Nervous, Biliary, Stomachand Liver Complaints; Indigestion; Low Spirits, Gout etc
. 2nded. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1807: 231
1. Pharma Scenario in India