Indian Pharmaceutical Industry: A study of the post-liberalization period

Aruna Pain

Indian Pharmaceutical Industry: A study of the post-liberalization period

Keywords : Liberalisation, Patents, Pharmaceutical Industry, R&D, TRIPS, JEL Classifications: L 65, O 14, O 31, O 34


The pharmaceutical industry is a vital sector of an economy in the sense that it has direct effect on the health of the people of the nation. This is a sector where continuous innovation is required to invent new drug for new diseases and new forms of old diseases. For innovation continuous investment in R&D is required. Investment in R&D is risky and the inventions require legal protection in the form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). Patent is the most relevant form of Intellectual Property Right which a pharmaceutical company acquires whenever it discovers a new drug or new process of manufacturing a drug. Continuous research and development (R&D) and low cost of production have helped the industry to expand in the domestic market as well as in the export world. In the context of liberalization of the Indian economy it is important to study the pharmaceutical companies of India. Liberalisation measures and the subsequent enactment of TRIPS (Trade related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) compliant patent law have far reaching impact on the pharmaceutical industry. Now more than a decade has passed since liberalization and the enactment of the new patent law. So it might be considered as very important to examine the performance of the pharmaceutical companies in India. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the performance of the pharmaceutical industry in India in the post-liberalisation and post-TRIPS period. This study shows that the pharmaceutical companies have shown considerable resilience and have performed well in the post-liberalization and post-TRIPS period. Our study also examines the opportunities and threats extended by the process of liberalization and subsequent change in the national patent law.


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