• back

  • Pharmaceutical starting materials (EN)
    The pharmaceutical industry at large fared well during the global economic crisis, but the crisis still brought about several important changes to the industry. It shook up the industry and pushed companies to devise new strategies for continued growth. These mostly entail product diversification and geographical expansion. ITC provides timely information on the developments in the industry through a market report on pharmaceutical starting materials to keep market players, particularly from developing countries, abreast of developments in the industry.


    Expand this section to access (online) market intelligence reports and more information about the sector, with a special emphasis on pharmaceutical starting materials used in the production of essential and generic drugs.

    A large number of highly profitable brand drugs, produced by top pharmaceutical manufacturers, are due to lose patent exclusivity, providing opportunities for generic drug manufacturers to make copies of these off-patent drugs. In addition, biotechnology offers new potential to brand and generic manufacturers alike. The challenge for the future will be continued innovation to replenish increasingly dry drug pipelines.

    Seventeen emerging economies from South America, South East Asia and Eastern Europe are becoming increasingly attractive to pharmaceutical companies in the quest for geographical expansion and a wider outreach for their products. Indeed, these emerging markets for pharmaceuticals often referred to as “pharmerging” markets are occupying an increasingly larger role on the global pharmaceutical market, demonstrating double-digit compound annual growth rates.

    ITC publishes a market report on a bimonthly basis covering industry trends, price information, regional and/or product profiles, industry news, regulatory updates and relevant trade events for major international markets. Price information is available for over 200 pharmaceutical starting materials and back editions dating to 1992 are also available. To download and view a sample report in pdf free of charge, click here.

    Here are links to other agencies that provide further information related to pharmaceutical starting materials and the production of drugs:

    Data and Research

    Many of the pharmaceutical starting materials are classified by their CAS registry numbers where a select few are also classified under the harmonized system code classification system. ITC’s market analysis tools provide detailed statistics on the trade and tariff levels for selected pharmaceutical starting materials covered in the report. Expand this section to see sample charts or to log in to create your own.
    Click on the thumbnail to the left to see the top exporting countries of Erythromycin and its derivatives displayed on a map. Click on the thumbnail to the left to see the top exporting countries of Erythromycin and its derivatives displayed on a map. 
    Click on the thumbnail to the left to see the top importing countries of Erythromycin and its derivatives displayed on a map. Click on the thumbnail to the left to see the top importing countries of Erythromycin and its derivatives displayed on a map. 

    Advisory Services

    Currently, ITC offers no standard advisory services specifically for pharmaceutical starting materials. Through our network of experts, qualified international and national consultants can be identified and contracted for development project assignments in the sector.

    ITC statistics on commodities – pharmaceutical starting materials
    Understanding the structure and evolution of international markets is essential for both firms and trade support institutions (TSIs). Firms scanning the world market for opportunities to diversify products and markets, as well as suppliers, and TSIs setting priorities in terms of trade promotion, sector performance, partner countries, and trade development strategies must have detailed statistical information on international trade flows in order to utilize resources effectively. Strategic market research based on such information helps them gauge the competitiveness of national and sector trade performance and identify priority products and markets for trade development.

    ITC produces and disseminates market research and trade analysis for trade support institutions and the business community in developing countries and transition economies. For further information on data for some of the pharmaceutical starting materials covered in the report, look at the “Data and Research” section on this page.


    Currently, ITC offers no formalized standard advisory service specifically for the pharmaceutical products sector.




    In the past, ITC organised Latin Pharma, an event providing opportunities for trade promotion of pharmaceutical and natural products between the Central American Common Market, the Andean Community, the Mercosur and Chile.

    ITC provided training on relevant topics and created networking opportunities such as buyer-seller meetings for enterprises involved in the trade of pharmaceutical products and natural ingredients in the region. A project is underway to expand on this Latin Pharma platform to include a stronger component for biotrade products.

    ITC has also organized a similar initiative, Asia Healthcare, with the objective of increasing the regional availability and access to natural and essential medicines within the region of South and South-East Asia.

    To initiate a project in the sector, please contact us.

  • Highlights

    Egyptian producers look to expand Halal exports

    Egyptian companies should exploit market opportunities in Halal food and related products in Asia and Africa and capture more of the US$ 600 billion market, concluded participants at a forum held in Cairo last month.


    Citizens around the world have lost confidence, understandably, in the ‘quarterly capitalism’ model that requires businesses to be managed exclusively for short-term shareholder value. At Unilever, the lesson we have learned is that business is part...


    Pharmaceutical firms across Latin America negotiated millions of dollars in new business deals with each other for natural and bio-products and traditional medicines at LatinPharma 2011...


    Countries where malaria is endemic can save lives with little loss to tax revenues if they eliminate tariffs on the imports needed to fight the disease, an ITC study shows.The study of 32 malaria-endemic countries in Africa, Latin American and Asia found that waiving import duties on anti-malarial medicines and equipment...