PCD, Ethical and Generic Pharma Sectors

Difference Between PCD, Ethical and Generic Pharma Sectors

Did you know that according to Statista, the global pharmaceutical market was valued at 1.27 trillion US dollars in 2020? India is one of the top players in this market, with its pharma industry reaching new heights on the regular.


Starting a business in the pharma industry can prove to be highly profitable in the current Indian market. And not only that, it is only set to grow much higher in the near future. However, entering any industry requires thorough planning, as does entering the healthcare industry.

Although Vivaceutical believes in empowering entrepreneurs and small businesses by helping them enter the pharma business with ease, there are still a few things you must finalise beforehand. Such as, what kind of business you want to start.


In India, there are three types of pharma business models; PCD, Ethical and Generic Pharma Sectors. In this blog, we will help you understand each of them thoroughly and pick the one best suited to you. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

Understanding the Different Pharma Business Models

The pharmaceutical industry is responsible for a lot of things like R&D, production, and distribution of medicines. So, you must pick the sector you want to work in accordingly as you could be held responsible for any mishaps.

Now let us look at these sectors and how they operate differently.

1. Propaganda Cum Distribution

Propaganda Cum Distribution, popularly known as PCD, refers to a franchise business model. When you take a franchise, the parent company gives you its marketing and distribution rights. This means that you are legally allowed to sell their products, and market using their brand name.

Usually, a PCD company decides the rules and regulations of the partnership with franchise owners beforehand. You also get a say in this, and final terms are decided when both parties are satisfied. So, what makes this type of pharma business so popular? Let’s find out!


First off, the PCD model doesn’t require you to have a professional healthcare background, or even an educational pharma background. So, anyone willing to enter this industry can do so easily by starting a PCD pharma franchise. Moreover, they require a very small amount of investment.


This business model is mutually beneficial to the company as well as the individual/ group running the franchise. So you can rest assured that you would get the parent company’s support after getting the franchise as well. The most beneficial aspects of operating a PCD pharma franchise are:

2. You get professional support

PCD pharma companies allow you to talk to expert advisors when you encounter a problem with the business. Say, you are having trouble selling a particular product so you can ask them for help. They may tell you how to understand the market demand and more, depending on what your outlet requires.

3. Low risk and burden

As mentioned above, starting a PCD pharma franchise requires less investment. Thus, you are at a low risk of losing money from the get go. Besides that, there is a rapid growth in the demand for medicines in India. Furthermore, you do not have to work under pressure as there are no set goals you must achieve.

4. Access to a number of resources

This point is similar to getting professional support as when you work as a franchise owner, you get access to a lot of resources from the parent company. For instance, they provide you with promotional items like pens, notebooks, etc. Not to forget, they offer monopoly rights, which allow you to become the sole seller of the parent company’s products in an area.


If you are someone with no or very less experience, and wish to start with smaller investments, then the PCD business model is perfect for you! You can also scale it in the future, so there is a lot of potential for small franchise owners to grow as well.

Know More – What Does PCD Stand For? Understanding the PCD Franchise Model

Ethical Pharma

This is a little more complicated than the PCD model, as it involves a lot of people, and you cannot simply be the middleman between the parent company and the customers. Under this model, the medicines are marketed by the sales and marketing team that consists of:

  • A medical representative
  • Area business manager
  • Regional manager
  • Zone wise sales manager
  • Deputy General Manager
  • General manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Sales Officer
  • Product manager

You can work as one of the above mentioned positions; however, the highest responsibilities are given to the medical representative of the company. A larger company can have multiple MRs. They are responsible for ethical promotion of the brand and act as a sort of a brand ambassador.


Further, an MR is supposed to share scientific information about the products with prospective clients, thus they need to have thorough knowledge about them. They also have to update the doctors of any new releases by the brand, and convince them to work with the company.


Working as an MR requires having sales skills, and background at times, as you would have to meet a lot of targets. If you wish to get into sales, then the ethical pharma sector may be for you. MRs usually have a fixed compensation and may also get incentives.

Generic Pharma

This model consists of generic medicines produced by PCD companies, which are directly sold to the customers. As the same suggests. It consists of generic medicine that doesn’t belong to any particular brand. This model works well in a country like India as the medicines are available at a fraction of the price quoted by brand name medicines.


You cannot really work in the generic sector unless you plan on opening a pharma company that does R&D and manufactures medicines.

Final Thoughts

Now that you are familiar with the different business models in the pharma sector, make sure you pick one after careful consideration.


The PCD model is by far the easiest to enter. However, you still have to ensure that you work with a trustworthy company like Vivaceutical for the best results.

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