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Gireesh Babu, New Delhi May 18 , 2022
In a relief to the pharma exporters in the country, exports of drugs and pharmaceuticals has reported almost 10 per cent growth in the first month of the fiscal year 2022-23. Imports, on the other hand, grew 4.35 per cent, according to the quick estimates of Department of Commerce and Industry.

Exports of drugs and pharmaceuticals for the month of April, 2022, witnessed a growth of 9.49 percent at $2.07 billion as compared to $1.9 billion during the same month of last year.

Imports during the month was $710 million with a growth of 4.35 per cent from $681 million during the same period of previous year.

When compared to the exports during March, the April exports showed a significant growth.

According to the preliminary estimates of the Ministry in April, Exports during the month of March, 2022, reported a 4.2 per cent growth to $2.39 billion as compared to $2.29 billion in the same period of previous fiscal year.

The exports of drugs and pharmaceuticals during the fiscal year 2021-22 witnessed a growth of 0.66 per cent at $24.6 billion as compared to $24.44 billion during the previous fiscal year, according to the preliminary estimates of the Department of Commerce.

The Government was targeting an export of $29 billion during the fiscal, but the market conditions were not in tune to support that growth, said experts.

The Central government has recently said that the Indian pharma exports witnessed a growth of 103 per cent since 2013-14, from Rs. 90,415 crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 1,83,422 crore in 2021-22. The exports achieved in 2021-22 is the pharma sector’ best export performance ever, it claimed.

Union minister of commerce and industry, consumer affairs, food and public distribution and textiles, Piyush Goyal highlighted the achievement in his Twitter account and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the feat. The exports grew by almost $10 billion in eight years.

It said that the pharma exports in 2021-22 sustained a positive growth despite the global trade disruptions and drop in demand for Covid related medicines. The trade balance continues to be in India’s favour, with a surplus of $15.18 billion, it said.

Indian pharma companies, enabled by their price competitiveness and good quality, have made global mark, with 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines and 20% of generic medicines coming from India.

"Behind India’s pharma success story is our world class manufacturing excellence, robust infrastructure, cost-competitiveness, trained human capital and innovation. The current market size of the Indian pharmaceutical industry is around $50 billion," said the Ministry of Commerce recently.

The share of pharmaceutical and drugs in India's global exports is 5.92%. Formulations and biologicals continue to account for a major share of 73.31% in total exports, followed by Bulk drugs and drug intermediates with exports of $4.44 billion. India’s top 5 pharma export destinations are US, UK, South Africa, Russia and Nigeria.

It is also noteworthy that around 55 per cent of its pharma exports cater to highly regulated markets. Indian pharma companies have a substantial share in the prescription market in the US and EU. The largest number of US Food and Drug Administration approved plants outside the US is in India.

In the year, 2020-21, Indian drugs and pharmaceuticals had registered a sharp growth amid the Covid despair, achieving an export of $24.4 billion with a YoY growth of 18%.

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