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India's pharmaceutical export sales growth is expected to pick up to nearly 11% this fiscal year, from a roughly 10% increase last year, led by the key U.S. and UK markets, a government-backed trade body said on Thursday.

India, the world's third-largest drug maker by volume, has seen exports soaring despite global countries' concerns regarding the quality of medicinal products following cough syrup-linked deaths in Gambia and Uzbekistan

Exports are expected to cross $31 billion in the year ending March 31, compared with exports of nearly $28 billion in fiscal 2024, according to Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil).

The growth markets will be the United States, UK, Latin America and Africa, Udaya Bhaskar, the director general of Pharmexcil, told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Hyderabad.

Among them the U.S. is a key market -- it accounts for about 30% of India's annual pharma exports after a nearly 16% increase in fiscal 2024, according to Pharmexcil.

The country's drug shortages as well as the increased use of drugs for lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and depression will aid demand for India's affordably priced drugs, Bhaskar said.

Earlier this week, India Ratings and Research shared a similar view, saying the U.S. market will help Indian drug makers sustain their revenue improvement this fiscal year.

However, Bhaskar sees potential in the UK market as well.

"The UK is a sweet spot. I was talking to doctors at NHS (National Health Service) and there is also a shortage. Post-COVID, drugs from Europe have become expensive ... (and) things have changed post BREXIT."

So, this is one market where India can evolve."

India, he believes, needs to move beyond making generic drugs get ahead in the global pharma industry, but also noted the challenges.

"Unfortunately, the industry is not spending more. The government support is also not adequate."