India’s pharmaceuticals sector which is “slightly outperforming” that of China can benefit from the vast Chinese market for generic drugs and the acquisition of Gland Pharma by a Chinese company could prompt Beijing to open its pharma industry to Indian firms, the official media said.
“China and India are the world’s two largest manufacturers of bulk drugs, a key raw material for producing pharmaceutical drugs,” an article in the state-run Global Times said.
Now with changes in the supply pattern of bulk drugs around the world, companies in the US and Europe have started competing with the Chinese and Indian markets.
“The situation raises the need for China and India to think about how they should maintain their own advantage and break development bottlenecks in the bulk drug industry,” it said. “In terms of market size, the combined population of China and India surpasses 2.5 billion - huge markets that no country can afford to ignore,” it said.
With USD 53 billion trade deficit out of over USD 71 billion annual trade, India has been pressing China to open up more for Pharma and IT industries as India has edge over China in the two sectors.
But contrary to promises, China which also supplies bulk raw materials to Indian Pharma industry is yet to open up substantially despite criticism from Chinese public that generic drugs are extremely expensive in China compared to India.
“Today more and more Chinese companies see India as their first destination when going global,” it said highlighting the recent acquisition of India’s Gland Pharma for up to USD 1.26 billion by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group.
“Fosun is not merely targeting the Indian market through its acquisition of Gland Pharma. India leads the world in generic drugs and its industry is quite internationally oriented. Acquiring Gland Pharma could help Fosun crack overseas markets,” it said.
“This move could let China learn from India and could also prompt China to open up its pharmaceutical industry,” it said.
“As such, India has a full range of experience and expertise in marketing and sales in global medical markets.
India also slightly outperforms China in generic drugs as well research and development capability,” it said.
“As for benefits to India, China offers a huge and rapidly growing market for generic drugs. The sheer volume of China’s population base means that the amount of drug applications will be remarkable. Through massive market operations, India could turn China into a promising market which would help raise its production capacity,” it said.
“As the global pharmaceutical product manufacturing center shifts toward India and China, the two countries should grasp the opportunity and work together to become world-class pharmaceutical giants amid Asia’s rise,” it said.