Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to export medicines and other goods worth over $25 billion in the current financial year, up from $20.5 billion in 2019-20, said Ravi Uday Bhaskar, Director General of Pharmaceutical Export Council of India (Pharmexil) , on Monday.

Bhaskar, who participated in a virtual meet in connection with Global Virtual Healthcare & Hygiene Expo 2020 organised by FICCI, said Indian pharmaceutical exports during the first six months were $11.38 billion, nearly 15 per cent more than that in the same period last year. “This is significant considering that 55 per cent of Indian pharma exports is to highly regulated markets,” he added.

“During this difficult times Indian pharmaceutical industry is doing very well. The world is looking at India for two reasons. One is for generic medicine front, where we are capable of producing quality medicines at affordable prices. Secondly on Covid-19 vaccine front, most of Indian vaccine companies are working closely with academic institutions and industry outside India,” Pharmexil DG said.

Covid vaccines

Another advantage is that India is the only country that can produce Covid-19 vaccines in large volumes. Indian medical devices industry too rose up to the occasion. “At the beginning of Covid-19, Indian industry was not capable of producing N95 maks, PPE kits and other devices required for fighting the pandemic. But now Indian industry is capable of manufacturing all these in adequate quantities,” Bhaskar said.

Similarly syringes for Covid-19 vaccines. Both the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech India Ltd being two-dose vaccines, Indian industry would have to produce 260 crore syringes if the entire Indian population is to be covered. Bhaskar said he was confident that the industry would be able to meet the challenge.

Earlier talking at the webinar, Pradeep Multani, Co-Chair of FICCI Ayush Committee and Chairman of Multani Pharmaceuticals, said India’s Ayurveda product exports, which are at $3 billion currently, are expected to grow by 16-18 per cent per annum over the next five years.