It was a rough year for the pharmaceutical industry in more ways than one. Apart from the ban on over 300 fixed-dose combinations, and the rise in prices of bulk drugs because of manufacturing slowdown in China, there were signs of volatility in domestic sales because of the base effect of the goods and services tax (GST) implemented in 2017.
The falling rupee, however, helped firms offset the impact of input cost hikes in the second quarter. Exports were buoyant, hitting $11 billion in the April-October period.
It is expected to cross the $17.27-billion mark achieved in 2017-18. Though investment on research and development has more than doubled over the past five years — from $700 million per annum to $1.6 billion a year — there are signs of slowdown, as companies are exercising caution while choosing molecules to invest in.