India fights for outsourcing title

Custom manufacturing of formulations and intermediate drugs in India is projected to grow at a rate of 43 percent, three times the projected global rate. So says a report from the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India and consultancy Ernst & Young, based on 50 survey respondents from 30 pharmaceutical companies in the US, Europe and Asia.

Results, according to a report at, indicate that respondents rank India highest for outsourced drug production; some 83 percent say they rate it above average in technical capability. Yet the country comprises only three percent of the global drug outsourcing market. The report says it expects that percentage to rise despite concerns over India's patent practices and branded generic medicines market.

Eli Lilly, Merck and Pfizer are among big pharma companies collaborating with Indian contractors, and some big global deals are said to be in the works. Such activity belies industry concerns over Indian intellectual property practices and its struggles on the world stage. A recent press report indicates that India plans to approach the World Trade Organization, complaining that the European Union has been citing its own patent laws as a reason for holding Indian-made generic drugs on their way elsewhere in the world.

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