Business Today

The Sweet Pill

Drug regulatory reforms in China have turned the heat on the Indian pharmaceutical industry and raised the cost of bulk drugs. But some firms have managed to turn the crisis into an opportunity by filling in the space left by the Chinese.

Ludhiana based IOL Chemical, the largest maker of ibuprofen active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in the world with annual capacity of 12,000 metric tonnes, is in a sweet spot, a rarity these days in a segment such as API manufacturing, where China has taken a lead over India. "We are noticing shortage of products from China and rise in prices. This is a big opportunity for the companies in India to build global capacity to take advantage of the trend. For instance, we have over the past one year more than doubled our ibuprofen API capacity from 5,000 metric tonnes per annum to 12,000 metric tonnes," says Vijay Garg, Joint Managing Director, IOL. The company has "33 per cent world market share for the product as against 10 per cent a year ago,"

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