Oncology Market In India

reogma|Oncology Market In India
3 mins read

Every year there is 20% increase in oncology market in India. Different therapies are available for cancer treatment like chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy

Definition / Scope

India is a country with different cultures and huge regional and lifestyles variations which are evident in age-specific adult death rates. Recent studies found large variations in the type of cancer in various regions and subpopulation of India.

  • Cancer is a therapeutic class characterised by uncontrolled cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and every type of cancer is differentiated by the type of cell that is initially affected.
  • Cancer harms the body when altered cells divide destructively to form lumps of tissue or tissue masses called tumours which interfere and alter body function.
  • Tumours that are static and show limited growth are generally considered to be benign.  On the other hand if a tumour spreads to other parts of the body and advances by invading and destroying other healthy tissues then the condition is called as metastasis.

Market Overview

  • Cancer has increased at disturbing rates applying to inadequate screening & shortage of oncologists and other trained staff in India.
  • Many studies have revealed incidence of cancer to be more in females rather in males. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has indicated from its study that about 635,000 people died from cancer in India, 2008, which was responsible for 8% of global cancer deaths and 6% of all deaths. 50% of cancer related deaths occurred due to cancer of lung & oral cavity in males & breast and cervix in females.
  • The prevalent cases of all types of cancer are 28 lakh & incident cases are 8 lakh. Even though chemotherapy is of high market value, experts say that there will be sharp rise in biologics & targeted therapy as preferred treatment option.

Findings from a study concluded the cancer scenario in India that:

  • 70% of fatal cancers occur in the age group between 30 -69 years
  • Rate of cancer deaths were similar between rural & urban population
  • Large proportion of cancer deaths arise due to tobacco related cancer & is more prone in northeastern states of India

Market Size

  • Every year there is 20% increase in oncology market in India. Different therapies are available for cancer treatment like chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy & supportive care.
  • Among them chemotherapy is with highest market value of 700 Cr in 2012. In India Oncology market is forecasted to grow 3831 Cr with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.46% by 2017 – Frost & Sullivan

Top Market Opportunities


Oncology is an area with unmet therapeutic needs. There is a need to promote and support clinical trials of

  • New cancer treatments
  • Probe various methods of cancer prevention
  • Early detection and study quality-of-life issues
  • Rehabilitation during and after the treatment of cancer.

The main strength of oncology market in India is due to following reasons.

  • India is a populous country with increasing cancer incidence
  • Various advance cancer cases offer a unique opportunity for conducting research & carrying out clinical trials in different parts of the country.
  • Large potential for clinical research data
  • Regional cancer centers in India
  • Trained researchers with quality data
  • Scope for conducting various levels of clinical research


  • Huge costs incurred in new drug development linked with threat of failure
  • Unwanted effects with cancer drugs therapies
  • India suffers 20 percent of the global disease burden ratio but less than 15 percent of the Indian population is covered under some form of health insurance & only around 2.2 percent of the population is covered under private health insurance. 60 percent of the total health expenditure in India is out-of-pocket expenses borne by the patient.


There are certain factors that can accelerate the growth of oncology market.

  • Rising incidence of various cancer complications
  • Blooming of various advance biological and drug targeted therapies
  • Patents expiration of ruling drugs paralleled with commercialization of biosimilars
  • Government’s purchase of expensive drugs for cancer treatment at tender prices and providing the same at subsidized costs to the population helps in keeping the market forces in equilibrium.
  • Commercialization of immunotherapies and targeted therapies would reduce the negative impact of restraints and stimulate the market growth.

Market Trends

  • Proportion of oncology spending by global market share during 2008 – 2013 showed a decline in Pharmerging markets from 27% to 24%
  • Pharmerging market oncology stood in fourth place with sale forecasted as $17bn – $20bn in 2017 and as the largest specialty area, only falling behind certain primary care therapeutic areas.
  • Most launches between 2005 and 2009 addressed smaller patient populations and saw lower adoption rates than earlier products.
  • 2012 featured a record number of FDA approvals, particularly in oncology

Industry Challenges

In the present scenario oncology market faces the following key challenges in India:

  • Regulatory hurdles in Oncology trial procedures
  • Restriction on use of new therapies in oncology
  • Pricing structure  of expensive drugs
  • Shortage of specialized surgical & medical oncologists in India
  • Poor infrastructure to handle high incidence of cancer
  • Compulsory Licensing & Patent revocation
  • Drying pipelines
  • Increasing cost of launching new drugs and patent expiries,
  • Developing new anticancer drugs


  1. Cancer Scenario in India. MAX NEEMAN CONTRACT RESEARCH
  2. Cancer: Facts, Types and Causes. Medical News Today
  3. BioSpectrum India – Indian oncology market to grow 15.46% by 2017
  4. Market Dynamics. IMS MIDAS
  5. BioSpectrum India – Competition heats up in oncology market

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