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   Vol. 14  No. 28
Friday March 27, 2015

India Pharma Rampage Growth

Pharma India Rampage Growth     Recent figures indicate that India’s pharmaceutical industry will grow to $55 billion by 2020.
     With export of pharmaceutical products to more than 200 countries, India expects to cross the Rs one trillion (U.S.$16.17 billion) mark this year. According to Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), the growth would be around 15 percent and will be driven by formulation exports. During 2013-14, pharma exports stood at Rs 90,000 crore (US$ 14.55 billion). Of this, the share of formulations was 71 percent while the other categories were drug intermediates, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), Finished Dosage Formulations (FDFs), bio-pharmaceuticals, and clinical services.

Qatar Ramps Up

     Pharmaceutical airfreight is expected to grow at a faster pace than general cargo.
     This has led many carriers to start new facilities for this fast growing segment.
     Airlines have already started ramping up flights out of India. Qatar Airways Cargo, for example, recently announced the launch of the seventh freighter destination in the country,
     Last month on February 3, Qatar Airways Cargo commenced freighter services to Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
     The city has textiles, chemicals, automobiles, and pharmaceuticals industries and over the last few years it has seen a growth in biotechnology with the presence of more than 50 biotechnology companies and around 66 support organizations.
     Incidentally, Qatar Airways is the only international carrier to provide freighter services to Ahmedabad.

IAG One & Only

     Last year, IAG Cargo introduced B787s in its London Heathrow and Hyderabad, Chennai flights.           The B787s have helped the pharma industry.
     The plane’s forward cargo hold has air conditioning, making it ideal for shipping temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products.
     This has made IAG Cargo the only European operator to offer daily flights on these routes.

Airport Action Upgrades

     For their part, airport authorities have brought in equipment and created facilities at some of India’s major international airports. Two airports—Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) and Delhi International Airports Ltd. (DIAL)—have upgraded the air cargo facilities to handle 80-90 percent of the export and import trade of pharmaceuticals.
     In association with the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), the custodians of the two airports have taken initiatives to do away with the bottlenecks that delay the transport process.
     Among the enhancements are the creation of cold room space, training and refresher courses for the staff that handle pharma products at the airport, and storage.
     In fact, MIAL has installed four new cold rooms for pharmaceuticals while DIAL has enhanced the cold room capacity considerably.
     Meanwhile, other airports are getting into the act.
     At the international airport at Vishakhapatnam recent introduction of direct flights from Visakhapatnam to Kuala Lumpur by Malindo Air has given rise to speculation amongst larger pharma exporters that a proper air cargo terminal at the airport—with special facilities for pharma exports—will be put up.
     In addition to the privately held international airports, the government has also taken major steps.

Made In India A Factor

     The India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF)—a trust established by the government’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry with the primary objective to promote and create international awareness of the ‘Made in India’ label in markets overseas—recently announced the efforts being made by the pharmaceutical industry and the government to sustain the export growth trajectory.
     The focus will now be on Argentina, which has of late opened up its U.S.$6 billion drug market to Indian companies. The move will raise the country’s present contribution of around 8 percent to the Latin American region.
     Other moves include a more export-friendly ecosystem for the Indian pharmaceutical industry. One of the first few countries to launch the Trace and Track mechanism for its pharma products, India has started putting barcodes on the primary, secondary, and tertiary level packaging labels in phases.
     In fact, the system is already in place at the secondary and tertiary level of packaging.
Tirthankar Ghosh

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