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How India Became The Biggest Exporter Of Generic Medicine?

By Saksham Bhatia +2 more

What are generic medicines?

Generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as non-generic medicines. A non-generic medicine when first developed, applies for a patent which expires after a certain period of time and the originating company gets a chance to recoup its research investment. After the patent of a non-generic medicine expires, it can be manufactured as a generic medicine after getting approval and abiding by safety and quality guidelines. These may be manufactured by the same company or by other firms.

India and generic medicines export

One of India’s biggest strengths is the export of generic medicines to countries looking for affordable medicines. 

India is a major contributor to the objective of reducing healthcare costs in countries like Latin America and many more. They encourage the entry of Indian pharma companies into their countries to make generic medicines more accessible.

Some Indian pharma companies have set up manufacturing plants in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. The success and positive perception of Indian pharmaceuticals largely helped in enhancing the overall image of India.

India is the largest exporter of generic medicines in the world, accounting for a massive global export volume. These medicines have a low cost of production, research and testing. India’s role is immense in lowering healthcare costs in developed countries like the US and the UK. Western NGOs and foundations also buy generic medicines from India. 

Although generics provide safe and effective alternatives to branded drugs at lower costs through an abbreviated approval pathway, they still have to go through rigorous clinical trials and approvals to get launched in the market.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D

The way forward for India

The Indian Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) under which PMBJP Kendras across the country will make quality generic medicines and implants accessible at affordable prices and also generate employment. 

The COVID pandemic has boosted the exports of generic medicines to a great extent, the developed and developing world are concerned about the high costs of patented medicines and looking for cheaper alternatives. Countries are keen to use more generic medicines in the long run to cut down the cost of healthcare.  

The Jan Aushadhi campaign benefits in India

The Jan Aushadhi initiative in India aims to make quality medicines available to the citizens of the country at affordable prices through dedicated stores selling generic medicines. These cost less but are equivalent to non-generic medicines in quality and efficacy.

  • The initiative will promote greater awareness about cost-effective generic medicines and their prescription.
  • It will encourage doctors, more specifically in government hospitals, to prescribe generic medicines.
  • It will also ensure substantial savings in health care especially for poor patients and those suffering from chronic ailments requiring long periods of medicine use.

Awareness and accessibility of generic medicines is a positive step towards boosting exports. More production of generic medicines is encouraged in several ways by the government.


Generic medicines are low in cost but as effective and safe as non-generic medicines. Generic medicine in India is being widely used, the PMBJP aims to spread more awareness among people. The pharmaceutical industry of the country has shown tremendous progress and adapted to a changing environment which will help in achieving more success in generic medicine export from India.

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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