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India Needs To Diversify Pharma Raw Material Imports, Up R&D Spends: RBI Paper

The high import dependency and surprisingly low R&D intensity of exports in the Indian pharmaceutical sector call for timely diversification of source countries for importing raw materials so as to mitigate potential supply-side bottlenecks

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The Covid-19 pandemic has been a “stress test” for the Indian pharma industry, and exposed its high dependence on imported raw materials and “surprisingly low” research and development efforts, a paper in RBI's July bulletin said on Thursday.

“The high import dependency and surprisingly low R&D intensity of exports in the Indian pharmaceutical sector call for timely diversification of source countries for importing raw materials so as to mitigate potential supply-side bottlenecks,” the paper by Shibanjan Dutta and Dhirendra Gajbhiye said.

It said the country is the third largest pharma manufacturer in the world by volume and fourteenth by value, and the sector contributes 2 per cent of Indian GDP and 8 per cent of the total merchandise exports.

(PTI)