Global pharma giants rule India’s vaccine market as local players target global weight-loss boom 

Global pharma giants rule India’s vaccine market as local players target global weight-loss boom 

INDIA —Global pharmaceutical companies held a commanding 60% of the value share in India’s vaccine market, outperforming their domestic counterparts in terms of revenue. 

 This information emerged from data compiled by research firm PharmaTrac and reported by the Economic Times. 

According to the report, India’s vaccine market experienced challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, but multinational corporations (MNCs) regained their growth trajectory.  

Pfizer’s Prevenar 13, a pneumococcal vaccine, stood out by generating significantly higher revenue compared to its Indian counterpart, Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Pneumocil. 

 This exemplified the trend of MNCs achieving accelerated growth despite robust volume growth from local drug manufacturers. 

While MNCs exhibited slower value growth rates, their unit growth closely mirrored that of Indian corporations. This highlighted their competitive stance in the market. 

This situation contrasted with PharmaTrac’s December 2023 report, which noted higher growth rates for Indian pharma firms in chronic and sub-chronic therapy segments due to patent expirations for key drugs in multinational companies. 

Indian drugmakers pursue global weight-loss market share 

Elsewhere, Indian drugmakers have set their sight on a slice of the burgeoning weight-loss treatment market, both domestically and abroad with the development of their own versions of Novo Nordisk’s highly sought-after Wegovy. 

Analysts projected the weight-loss market to reach US$100 billion annually by the end of the decade, prompting companies like Sun Pharma, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, and Lupin to embark on developing their own versions of Wegovy.  

Novo Nordisk struggled to meet demand for Wegovy thus creating an opportunity for Indian firms. 

Industry insiders believed the move by Indian drugmakers could significantly improve global access to these medications and make them more affordable. 

 Cipla’s CEO highlighted the potential in India due to lifestyle choices, considering the country’s high obesity rates and diabetes prevalence. 

Novo’s patents for Wegovy expire between 2026 and 2032, paving the way for generic versions from Indian companies. 

 While Novo declined to comment on the specific timeline for Indian competition, they welcomed additional treatment options. 

Sun Pharma pursued its own experimental drug for type 2 diabetes and obesity, while others opted for a traditional generic path.  

Analysts anticipated a significant volume increase once patents expire, with generic versions offered at much lower prices. 

While home-turf advantage benefited companies like Cipla, cracking the price-sensitive Indian market still presented challenges.  

Experts now emphasize the need to create a market for anti-obesity drugs in India, unlike other countries where companies could capitalize on existing demand. 

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