India and the UK are reaping the benefits of a healthy partnership

India and the UK are reaping the benefits of a healthy partnership
India and the UK are reaping the benefits of a healthy partnership

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is seeking to move up the global pharmaceutical value chain by investing into R&D for drug development. Given the UK's strengths in this area it stands out as the perfect partner of choice.

India's healthcare sector has been witnessing massive growth and expansion in the past 10 years. Increased health awareness, improved penetration of healthcare services and health insurance have been driving consumer spending on health and wellbeing. Rapid technological advancement in pharmaceutical and medical-device manufacturing combined with strong Indian government support and a rapidly expanding market for digital health solutions, have made India one of the most important global healthcare markets.

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Tele-medicine/Tele-consulting, AI in healthcare and digital health, remote patient monitoring, next-generation medical device manufacturing and increased investment into pharmaceutical manufacturing are rapidly driving growth of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors in India.

Market size

A robot at Fortis hospital in Bengaluru checking a man before he enters. AI in healthcare and digital health are rapidly driving growth of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors in India.
A robot at Fortis hospital in Bengaluru checking a man before he enters. AI in healthcare and digital health are rapidly driving growth of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors in India.

India has a rapidly growing healthcare market with healthcare being one of the largest sectors both in terms of revenue and employment and is forecasted to reach USD 372bn by 2022. The Indian Government's expenditure on healthcare sector has grown to 1.6 per cent of the GDP in FY20BE from 1.3 per cent in FY16.

Health insurance is gaining momentum in India. The Indian pharmaceutical market is the third largest globally by volumes, fourteenth by value and third largest in API manufacturing. India supplies 25 per cent of all medicines in the UK, 62 per cent of global vaccines demand and 20 per cent global generic volume.

The Biopharmaceuticals market is alone worth USD 4bn (64 per cent industry share) growing at 25-30 per cent CAGR. India boasts a strong cluster of pharma and biotech industries with 3000+ companies and 10,000+ manufacturing sites of which 262+ are FDA approved sites, the highest outside the USA.

The Indian pharma market manufactures 60,000+ healthcare brands across 60 therapeutic categories and 500+ API molecules. In FY 18-19, Indian pharma exports to the UK were valued at USD 630.17mn. India's total pharma exports were valued at USD 16.28bn in FY20 and is expected to be worth USD 100bn by 2025. Pharma sales grew 9 per cent YoY as of May 2020 to USD 1.47bn and contributed roughly USD 11bn to India's trade surplus.

High demand

India boasts a strong cluster of pharma and biotech industries with 3000+ companies and 10,000+ manufacturing sites of which 262+ are FDA approved sites, the highest outside the USA.
India boasts a strong cluster of pharma and biotech industries with 3000+ companies and 10,000+ manufacturing sites of which 262+ are FDA approved sites, the highest outside the USA.

Demand is increasing in India for digital health services; tele-medicine/tele-consulting are seeing a rapid uptake in demand with increased adoption of digital solutions in healthcare delivery. India is also experiencing high demand for vaccines, API's, branded formulations, and specialty pharma products such as biologicals, biosimilars, etc. India is called the 'Pharmacy of the world' due its reputation of supplying over 60 per cent of all global vaccine demand, 25 per cent of all medicines in the UK and more than 40 per cent of the generics market in the USA.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is now seeking to move up the global pharmaceutical value chain by investing into R&D for drug development, drug re-purposing, process improvement and digital manufacturing. Given the UK's strengths in above areas, the UK stands out as the perfect partner of choice for the Indian biopharma industry as it looks to move up the value chain.

High rates of success

Tele-medicine/tele-consulting are seeing a rapid uptake in demand with increased adoption of digital solutions in healthcare delivery.
Tele-medicine/tele-consulting are seeing a rapid uptake in demand with increased adoption of digital solutions in healthcare delivery.

India offers one of the most competitive and diverse markets for pharmaceuticals with multiple UK business enjoying visibility and success with the presence of global British pharmaceutical majors such as AstraZeneca and GSK to wider UK SME/MSME's such as Micropore Technologies - a process manufacturing improvement company, Optibiotix,- a nutrition and wellbeing focussed company and Malvern Panalytics - focussed on pharmaceutical analytics have witnessed great success. UK technology and innovation is highly regarded and sought after in the healthcare sector as well with demand for CE approved devices across remote patient care and monitoring, digital health solutions, AI driven healthcare technologies and top of the line medical devices. From established MedTech players like Smith and Nephew to new entrants such as Behold.AI (an AI in radiology company) and Oxford Nanopore (with its real time point-of-care genomic sequencing), UK businesses have been witnessing rising demand from India's healthcare sector.

India offers one of the most competitive and diverse markets for pharmaceuticals with multiple UK business enjoying visibility and success.
India offers one of the most competitive and diverse markets for pharmaceuticals with multiple UK business enjoying visibility and success.

To support businesses from across the United Kingdom to understand the range of opportunities and support available them to grow their business in India, the Department of International Trade is currently organising a two-week virtual roadshow covering various sector including Healthcare. More information is available on bit.ly/37jSnP8

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Disclaimer: The views expressed herein constitute the sole prerogative of the author. They neither imply nor suggest the orientation, views, current thinking, or position of FICCI. FICCI is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.

Dr Param Shah is Director - UK, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

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