Indian drugmakers can expect some gains in the North American market in view of the upcoming pricing reforms in Canada. 

Canada is one of the top pharma markets in the world with federal and state governments providing for public health. According to industry reports, the market size is pegged at about $29 billion in 2021, with 30 per cent growth. As of now, generic drug uptake in Canada is significantly less than patented medicines.

“The Canadian government is all set to bring in new pricing regulations, which augur well for Indian generic players,’‘ R Uday Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), told BusinessLine on Tuesday. 

Canada’s generic medicines sector has no formal pricing regulator. As teneric drugs are inot significantly cheaper than tpatented counterparts, there is not much preference for them  

“However, this scenario is expected to change significantly with the new pricing regulations, to be brought probably from July 2022,’‘ Bhaskar said. 

As part of the pricing reforms, the Canadian government, it is learnt, would cap prices of both patented drugs and generics, which will create a wide margin between them. “This will increase the demand for generics, for which India is a powerhouse,’‘ the Pharmexcil chief said. 

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The opening up of the Canadian generic drug market to Indian players will help reduce the latter’s overdependence on the US market for exports, according to a senior executive of a Hyderabad-based listed pharma company. 

Indian pharma exports to Canada are to the tune of $441.77 million, with 32.05 per cent growth during 2020-21. Among products, formulations command more than 80 per cent of total exports from India and grew 34.79 per cent during the last year, as per Pharmexcil data. Bulk drugs constituted over 13.5 per cent of exports.

India had also sent 5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines to Canada in March 2021. During the second wave of the pandemic, Canada sent up to 350 much-needed ventilators from its national emergency stockpile and up to 25,000 vials of antiviral remdesivir to India.

The Canadian government pledged 10 million Canadian dollars to India to help purchase  ambulances and PPE kits, among other items, to fight a record surge in Covid-19 cases.

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