When trade in other sectors felt the pinch of slowdown in world economy trade in pharmaceuticals experienced a jump. Despite the economic slowdown Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow over the next few years. The industry has been growing at 14-15% over the last few years. Imports from India by US experienced an impressive growth of 59% in 2008 and 16% in 2009. A lot of customers are entering organised healthcare, antibiotics and acute therapies. While India’s metros and class I cities drive the growth tier II cities and rural market add to the growth momentum. The healthcare industry in India is estimated at $35 billion and it is expected to reach over $75 billion by 2012. Healthcare has got the potential to be one of India's largest industries with growth rates of around 14% per year. Rising disposable income, improving health infrastructure, general increase in health awareness are one the few reasons behind the impressive growth. MNCs have started tapping the potential in rural sector also.
Global recession did not affect Indian pharmaceutical sector due to its low cost manufacturing advantage. Indian companies are mostly into the manufacturing of generic drugs and offers drugs at a price much lower than the patent holder company. In fact, slowdown resulted in a boost of trade for India, as foreign customers are looking for cheaper products. The US is the largest market for Indian pharmaceutical companies. The rise in healthcare costs and most of the population in USA without any health insurance provides golden opportunity to medical tourism in India.
During the period 2000-2009, the year 2009 witnessed the highest US’ imports from India ($ 1660 mn) as well as the highest US’ exports to India ($ 1264 mn) which resulted in total trade of $ 1786604 thousand. USA, with the exception in 2000, had a negative balance of trade with India in pharmaceutical products throughout the period under consideration. The largest trade deficit was in the year 2009 ($ 1533794 thousand).
The pharmaceutical industry which can deal in generic and/or brand medication develops, produces, and markets drugs licensed for use as medications. Pharmaceutical companies are subject to a variety of laws and regulations regarding the patenting, testing and marketing of drugs. Indian pharmaceutical industry is the world's second largest after China. Johnson and Johnson is the largest pharmaceutical companies ranked by revenue as of March 2010 based on the released 2009 annual report.
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