India exported around 900 million dollars of pharmaceuticals to Latin America in 2013-14 (april-march). This was 7% of the total exports of India to Latin America, whose share in India's global pharma export was also around 7%.
Brazil was the leading destination of India's exports with 297 million followed by Mexico with 119 million. Interestingly Venezuela was the third largest market with 84 million. Exports to Colombia were 76 million, Peru-44 million, Chile-44, Argentina-42, Dominican Republic –26, Guatemala-23 and Ecuador –17.
Of the total pharma exports to Latin America, formulations accounted for 540 million and bulk drugs 360 million dollars. The large markets of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia account for most of the bulk drug exports.
Some Indian companies such as Reddy labs, Ranbaxy, Glenmark, Lupin, Torrent, Zydus Cadilla and Cellofarm have invested in manufacturing in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
Argentina which did not allow Indian finished formulations under pressure from local industry lobby has removed the restriction in August 2014. After this, India had exported 15 million dollars of finished drugs. This should go up in the coming years.
Latin America's pharma market has been growing at an annual average of 7% reaching 80 billion dollars in 2014 and is expected to cross 100 billion in the next three years.
India can target exports of 2 billion dollars in the next five years, given the following four favorable factors:
-The governments of the region ( majority of them centre-left) are spending more on health care as part of their inclusive development agenda.
-Millions of people are coming out of poverty, thanks to the pro-poor policies of the governments and this new lower middle class can afford to buy medicines.
-The economies of the region have been growing, adding more consumers in the markets.
-The governments of the region are promoting generic medicines to cut the cost of health care for themselves as well as for the consumers. This has given a special and unmissable opportunity for the Indian pharma companies who have already established their reputation in Latin America and around the world.