INDIAN DRUGMAKERS FORECAST TO TAKE GROWING SHARE OF GLOBAL GENERICS INDUSTRY

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Indian drug sales are forecast to reach INR600bn (US$13.09bn) in the 2007-2008 financial year, an increase of 11% on current levels, while exports should grow 18%, according to a new report released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

Growth will occur as a number of drugs lose patent protection in the coming years, boosting India's predominately generics-based drug industry. By 2007-2008, drugs worth some US$40bn are scheduled to go off patent in the US and Europe. This will aid exports as India's low manufacturing costs — up to 50% lower than in developed nations — coupled with its abundance of skilled workers gives it a competitive edge over rivals. India is expected to take around 30% of the increasing global generics market.

Elsewhere, the study goes on to claim that India's recently implemented patent regime will change the focus of the country's drug industry in the long-term, as it turns towards innovative drugs. Industry sources expect that this will increase profits for multinational drug firms and will force local drugmakers to focus on R&D. They also claim that it will drive much needed consolidation in the local industry, improving overall competitiveness and efficiency.