The pharmaceutical industry in India ranks 3rd in the world
terms of volume and 14th in terms of value. The World Health Organization estimated that
20 percent drugs made in India are fakes. According to Department of Pharmaceuticals,
Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the total turnover of India's pharmaceuticals
industry between 2008 and September 2009 was US$21.04 billion.
The pharmaceutical industry discovers, develops, produces, and
markets drugs or pharmaceuticals for use as medications. Pharmaceutical companies may
deal in generic or brand medications and medical devices. They are subject to a variety
of laws and regulations that govern the patenting, testing, safety, efficacy and
marketing of drugs.
The modern pharmaceutical industry traces its roots to two
sources. The first of these were local apothecaries that expanded from their traditional
role distributing botanical drugs such as morphine and quinine to wholesale manufacture
in the mid 1800's. Rational drug discovery from plants started particularly with the
isolation of morphine, analgesic and sleep-inducing agent from opium, by the German
apothecary assistant Friedrich Sertürner, who named the compound after the Greek god of
Multinational corporations including Merck, Hoffman-La Roche,
Burroughs-Wellcome (now part of Glaxo Smith Kline), Abbott Laboratories, Eli Lilly and
Upjohn (now part of Pfizer) began as local apothecary shops in the mid-1800's. By the
late 1880's, German dye manufacturers had perfected the purification of individual
organic compounds from coal tar and other mineral sources and had also established
rudimentary methods in organic chemical synthesis.
The development of synthetic chemical methods allowed scientists
to systematically vary the structure of chemical substances, and growth in the emerging
science of pharmacology expanded their ability to evaluate the biological effects of
these structural changes.