Image Drugs and pharmaceutical exports are back on the growth path after showing a downward trend in October 2008.

The increase in exports has been visible from December 2008 and is expected to continue despite the recession fears, according to industry experts.

“In December 2008, drugs and pharmaceuticals exports grew by 80 per cent compared with the corresponding period previous fiscal. The growth was led by the US, where imports from India grew by 46.3 per cent,” Dr P.V. Appaji, Executive Director, Pharmaceutical Exports Promotion Council (Pharmexcil).

The export growth for the nine-month period (April-December 2008) was 28 per cent at Rs 36,877 crore. “We are analysing the data for January-March 2009. The overall growth in pharma exports during 2008-09 was tentatively at 25 per cent,” he said.

In 2007-08, drug and pharma exports grew by 20 per cent.

The US, Russia, Austria, Germany and the UK are the top five export destinations for India’s pharmaceuticals, which go to over 25 countries in large quantities.

Spurt In Demand

“The spurt in demand is due to demand for low-cost generics from India which will help in cost-cutting endeavours,” Dr Appaji said.

Apart from developed and regulated markets such as the US, Germany, the UK and Russia, Japan and some third-world countries are also showing increased interest in imports from India, he added.

According to Mr Umang Vohra, Chief Financial Officer, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, the exports of finished dosages from leading companies in India “are doing well” and there has been no adverse impact of recession on orders.

The scenario in bulk drug segment too is “optimistic”, Mr M. Narayana Reddy, President, Bulk Drug Manufacturers Association (BDMA), said. “The bulk drug exports, which faced adverse conditions till recently, are now improving and the situation could be normal in the next two months.”

The value of exports in dollar terms was down 2 per cent, perhaps for the first time in recent years, during October 2008.

The exports of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals stood at $646.41 million at the end of October 2008 compared with $659.21 million in the year-ago period. This marked a 1.9 per cent decline.