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Pharmaceutical exports up 3 per cent to $17.3 billion in 2017-18

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India’s pharmaceutical exports grew merely 3 percent to $17.3 billion in 2017-18 due to increasing regulatory concerns and pricing pressures in the global markets, including the US.

The sector’s exports in 2016-17 had declined to $16.7 billion as against $16.9 billion in the previous fiscal, according to commerce ministry data.

Import alerts by the US Food and Drug Administration, regulatory hurdles and currency fluctuation also contributed to slow growth in the overseas shipments, an industry expert said.

The US is the top destination for Indian pharma exports, followed by the UK. America accounts for about 25 percent of the country’s shipments. The other important destinations include South Africa, Russia, Nigeria, Brazil and Germany.

Although the government is working on measures to promote exports in Japan and China, tough registration and regulatory procedures there act as hindrance for domestic exporters.

The sector accounted for about 6 per cent in the country’s total exports of $303 billion in 2017-18. It is one of the top five sectors in the exports segment. Generic drugs form the largest segment of the Indian pharmaceutical sector, with 75 percent market share (in terms of revenues).

India supplies 20 percent of global generic medicines in terms of volume, making the country the largest provider of generic medicines globally.

Over 55 percent of India’s exports go to highly regulated markets. Higher growth in outbound shipments helps create employment opportunities, earn foreign exchange and boost economic activities.

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