Indian drugmakers are "ideally placed to capitalise on the growing biosimilars market".
That is the view of a report from Datamonitor which notes that although the biosimilars market is in its infancy, India's manufacturers are well positioned to capitalise, both domestically and internationally. Healthcare analyst Alistair Sinclair notes that the market at home is limited by "low levels of health insurance and therefore poor access to biologic drugs". However, he argues, given the "high level of branded-generic loyalty of the emerging middle class, this could act as a driver of biosimilar uptake".
Mr Sinclair notes that “due to the fact that many copycat biologics are already available in India and often approved as new drugs rather than biosimilars", it is difficult to quantify sales of such treatments in the emerging markets. Estimates in India range from as low as $20 million and as high as $200 million, and "this could be expected to grow to $580 million by 2012".
The report notes that many Indian biosimilar manufacturers are also looking to expand globally. Mr Sinclair acknowledged that "the developed pharma markets may be difficult to access alone due to the complex and expensive clinical trials and registration process". However, licensing agreements with multinational companies, such as the recent insulin biosimilar deal between Biocon and Pfizer, "can facilitate access".