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Indian pharma industry to reach $57 billion by FY 25: CareEdge Ratings report

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow at 7-8 per cent in FY24 to FY25 with prospects to reach $57 billion by FY25, after registering a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 6-8 per cent during FY18 to FY23, according to CareEdge Ratings.

In a latest report, the knowledge-based analytical group said that the Indian pharma industry has grown from $35.41 billion in FY18 to $49.78 billion in FY23 and is likely to reach $57 billion by FY25. Globally, the Indian pharma industry has a strong footprint in the generics segment and the pharma exports and domestic market contribute equally to the overall Indian pharma industry.

The growth during FY18-FY23 was contributed by 8% growth in exports and 6% growth in the domestic market during the same period.

“The Indian pharma industry is expected to see a growth of around 7% to 8% over FY24-FY25 while the operating profitability of formulation companies to improve to around 23-23.5% and that of APIs/bulk drug companies to improve to around 19-20% during the same period,” said Krunal Modi, associate director at CareEdge Ratings.

“The Indian pharma sector is expected to grow at a steady pace in the medium term due to structural factors such as ageing of the population, rising lifestyle or chronic diseases, healthcare awareness and insurance penetration apart from increasing government spending under various schemes,” said Modi.

Further, changing world demography along with complex and specialty generic products are expected to drive the export growth of Indian pharma companies. The export growth would also be supported by patent expiry in regulated markets. Going forward, CareEdge Ratings expect higher export growth rates for emerging markets compared to growth rates of developed markets, it added.

The Indian pharma market grew by nearly 5% on a year-over-year basis to $49.78 billion in FY23. The exports grew by just 3% while the domestic market continued to grow at a healthy rate of 7% in FY23 over FY22.

Within exports, the emerging markets were largely flat while the developed market registered a growth of around 8% in FY23 on a y-o-y basis. The exports to emerging markets were impacted due to the Russia-Ukraine war and a shortage of foreign currency in many African countries apart from the significant depreciation of their local currencies.

Regulatory headwinds and consequent lower ANDA approvals are likely to constrain the exports to developed markets. However, increasing focus on synthesis segment, complex and specialty products apart from easing of pricing pressure in US generics are likely to support the growth in the medium term.

The US holds a prominent position as one of the largest export destinations for the Indian pharma industry, accounting for approximately 30-35% of total formulation exports. In recent years, the US generics market has experienced significant price corrections due to the consolidation of buyers and distributors. Despite these challenges, CareEdge Ratings has observed a notable increase in US export sales volumes, with expectations of sustained growth driven by upcoming patent cliff opportunities, said the report.

In FY23, formulation exports to the US recorded a growth of 5.9%, primarily supported by sales volume growth of around 16%. However, this growth was partially offset by a price erosion of around 10-11%. The pricing erosion in the US generic market has eased to low single digit, a significant improvement compared to the high double-digit erosion witnessed in the past two years.

“Looking ahead, there are substantial opportunities on the horizon, as approximately $188 billion worth of drugs worldwide are set to go off-patent during the period from Calendar Year 2023 to Calendar Year 2026. This presents a favourable landscape for the Indian pharma industry to capitalize on these patent expirations and expand its market share,” it said.

During FY23, the Indian pharma exports stood at $25.39 billion which includes APIs/bulk drug exports of $5.32 billion. After witnessing sharp rise in APIs/bulk drug exports during FY21 due to Covid-19 led supply chain disruption in China, the exports of APIs/bulk drugs have remained subdued during FY22 and FY23.

The export of bulk drug/APIs is likely to grow at around 5-6% over FY24- FY25; in-line with its historical average, it added.

Despite sustained pricing pressures in the US generics market, formulation companies could sustain their margins to around 22% in FY23 due to focus on complex and specialty products. The operating margin of APIs/bulk drugs companies declined by nearly 170 bps on a y-o-y basis and stood at around 18% in FY23.

CareEdge Ratings expects the growth in FY24-FY25 would be supported by 6% to 7% growth in exports and 8% to 9% growth in the domestic market during the same period.

The credit profile of Indian pharmaceuticals companies in general has remained stable historically, due to their strong profitability and lower reliance on debt which is likely to continue.

During the pre and post-Covid periods, the Indian pharmaceutical industry experienced significant changes in its operating profitability (PBILDT) margin. In FY21, due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, there was a noticeable reduction in marketing, travelling, and conveyance expenses. Coupled with increased sales opportunities related to Covid-19, this resulted in a substantial increase in operating margins for the industry.

However, the subsequent years, FY22 and FY23, presented new challenges for the pharma sector. Elevated input prices, rising freight costs, extended delivery timelines, and competitive pressures in the US generics market led to a moderation in operating margins.

“As we look ahead, there are positive signs for the industry. Raw material prices are stabilizing, freight rates are normalising, and pricing pressure in the US generics market is easing. These factors are expected to contribute to an expansion of operating margins by approximately 100 to 150 basis points over FY24-FY25 compared to FY23. Furthermore, the industry’s continued focus on launching specialty and niche products in the US market is anticipated to provide further support to the profitability,” it added.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Source: pharmabiz.com