Final frontier: Why India’s booming Pharma companies are finding it tough to get into Argentinean Market

Updated: February 8, 2019 6:55:04 PM

India produces 40-70% of the WHO demand for DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus) & BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) and 90% of measles vaccine.

Pharmaceutical, Pharmaceutical products, India, Argentinean Government, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, health, medicine, industry newsIndian vaccines are exported to 150 countries. (Reuters)

By Sandeep Wasnik

India is among the top 6th global Pharmaceutical producers in the world. However, for the past 30 years Indian pharmaceutical products had very limited access to the Argentinean market. Export of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals to Argentina was restricted due to domestic policies of Argentinean Government. While import of APIs in Argentina was allowed but Pharmaceutical formulations from India was not permitted.

Indian vaccines are exported to 150 countries. India produces 40-70% of the WHO demand for DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus) & BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) and 90% of measles vaccine. Approximately 70% of the patients in developing countries receive Indian medicines through NGOs. Argentina is the third largest pharmaceutical market in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico and in 2017 Pharmaceutical Product import was recorded nearly US$ 2.38 billion around the world in Argentina. Only few countries that were listed on the Presidential Annexes enjoyed access to the market.

Government of India and Pharmaceutical Exports Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) have been trying to get India also included in the list of permitted countries. On 8th August 2014, Government of Argentina has issued a Notification to include INDIA in the list that has fructified due to constant efforts by the Indian Embassy in Argentina and senior officials of the Indian Department of Commerce.

In September 2015, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Pharmexcil, Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Buenos Aires hosted forty Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers and exporters for a road show, buyers-sellers meet and market event.

Indian participants had wide ranging talks with the Ministry of Health, public and private sector laboratories, regulatory body ANMAT (Spanish: Adminstracion Nacional de Medicamentos, Alimentos y Tecnologia Medica, English: National Administration of Drugs, Food Products and Medical Technology), state governments, and Importing & Joint Venture body ANLAB (National Administration of Laboratories). Argentina is in the process of submitting a list of 20 drugs for immediate import from India.

Today Indian Pharmaceutical companies have good market access in Latin America and Caribbean, India Exports $ 724.546 Million to LAC Countries in 2018, where export to Argentina is only recorded $ 9.17 Million in 2017 and at the end of the 2018, only exported values is $ 9.69 Million was recorded an increase of 5.67% as shown in Column Chart (Indian Pharmaceutical Products Exports to Argentina)

Pharmaceutical, Pharmaceutical products, India, Argentinean Government, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, health, medicine, industry news

Argentina is on 19th ranking (Not ranked in TOP-10 Pharmaceutical Product importer from India) in import of Pharmaceutical Products in 2018 from India in LAC countries, where Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia and Peru were the top most partners of India in Pharmaceutical Product Import as shown in Pie Chart (Indian export Share (%) in LAC Region), where Brazil – $ 212.3 Million, Chile – $ 62.677 Million, Venezuela – $ 57.053 Million, Colombia – $ 52.006 Million, Peru – $ 8.557 Million, Mexico – $ 34.407 Million and rest all LAC countries – $ 301.953 Million.

Pharmaceutical, Pharmaceutical products, India, Argentinean Government, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, health, medicine, industry news

Most of the Pharmaceutical product export to Argentina from India is bellows:

1. HS Code: 300320 – Medicaments containing antibiotics (excluding medicaments containing Penicillin’s or derivatives thereof with a penicillanic acid structure, or streptomycin’s or derivatives thereof).

2. HS Code: 300220 – Vaccines for human medicine.

3. HS Code: 300390 – Medicaments consisting of two or more constituents mixed together for therapeutic or prophylactic uses (excluding antibiotics containing hormones or steroids used as hormones, but not containing antibiotics, alkaloids or derivatives thereof, hormones or antibiotics or goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006).

4. HS Code: 300490 – Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes, put up in measured doses including those in the form of `transdermal administration’; or in forms or packing for retail sale (excluding medicaments containing antibiotics, medicaments containing hormones or steroids used as hormones, but not containing antibiotics, medicaments containing alkaloids or derivatives thereof but not containing hormones or antibiotics and medicaments containing pro-vitamins, vitamins or derivatives thereof used as vitamins).

Inspection of all Indian drugs and medicines had to be undertaken by the regulatory body – `ANMAT’ : The Indian companies holding USFDA and EU certification can easily export to Argentina and prices of medicine in Latin American countries were 2 to 18 times the prices of medicine in India.

Interestingly, Ayurvedic medicines are easily acceptable in Argentina and the country is seeking Joint Ventures with Indian companies for intermediates and raw materials for pharmaceuticals that is essentially lifesaving.

(The author is the Chairman of Atlassons Business Services Private Limited)

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