In a bid to shore up its declining pharmaceutical exports, the commerce ministry is considering the proposal to supply generic drugs to the government of Myanmar. “Myanmar wants to purchase generic drugs for its government hospitals and they have approached us…We are looking at it,” a senior official said. Myanmar’s proposal to buy generic drugs has attracted interest from around 60 Indian companies, Udaya Bhaskar, director general of Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), said.
“Pharmexcil had asked interest from companies and around 60 have showed interest in supplying generic drugs to Myanmar… Nothing has been finalised as of yet,” Bhaskar said. Pharmaceutical exports to Myanmar during April-February is estimated at $162 million, while exports to the country in 2015-16 was $152 million.
“Though a small one but capturing the market would be good for the country’s exports… As there is a huge demand for generic medicines in Myanmar, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to improve the pharmaceutical export,” the government official said, adding that bulk of the pharmaceutical exports from India is to the US. Pharmaceutical exports decreased marginally to an estimated $16.4 billion during the financial year ended March 31, 2017.
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“There was no growth in pharmaceutical exports during 2016-17 compared to exports worth $16.9 billion during 2015-16,” Bhaskar said. The reasons for lack of growth in exports were price erosion and absence of blockbuster drugs, among others, for Indian pharmaceutical players, he added.
Going forward, pharmaceutical exports are seen picking up, Bhaskar said. “There are over 700 drugmakers registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and about 30% of the total Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) granted in 2016 are from India. This indicates that we will continue to have a lion’s share in generics,’’ Bhaskar said.