Indian Pharma industry is slowing moving up the value chain. Earlier it used to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredient at low cost compared to world. Now with competition from China, which provides API at 15-20% low cost, it makes sense to shift focus elsewhere. Many top companies like Lupin, Novartis, Ranbaxy have less revenue stream from API than from formulations. There could also be the reason that formulation business has grown faster than APIs for some companies.
API is low scale commodity with low margin. Moreover, with a large number of patent expiries in developed markets like the US and Europe, Indian companies, with skills to develop and manufacture low-cost generic drugs, see a much more lucrative opportunity there than utilising their capacities for manufacturing APIs. Outside the US, India has the largest number of manufacturing facilities approved by the US Food and Drugs Administration.