Tuesday, May 25, 2010

 

Abbott buys Piramal's generics business for billions

After generics maker Ranbaxy was sold by its promoters for $4.6 billion, which was five times its revenues in 2008, another deal at a record-breaking valuation has taken place in the pharma business. US drug maker Abbott has paid $3.7 billion (around Rs 17,000 crore) for Piramal Healthcare's Indian branded generics business, which is a record eight or nine times its sales.

With this deal, Abbott becomes the top pharma company in India with a market share of about 7 per cent. It also gets 350 brands, and one manufacturing facility in Himachal Pradesh, and a little over 5,000 employees, from Piramal Healthcare. Indian generics companies have been under pressure from India's adoption of the new drug patent regime since 2005. Other international pharma companies like Sanofi-Aventis, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline are looking to acquire Indian branded generics firms to raise their market share. The Indian pharmaceutical sector is growing at a rate of 13%-15% compared with 2-3% in the West.

Monday, April 26, 2010

 

Diabetes in India



According to Chennai-based diabetologist V. Mohan, India has 50 million people with diabetes and there are another 50 million in the pre-diabetes stage. "It is estimated that the country will have 87 million people with diabetes by the year 2030. India, therefore, has a huge problem of diabetes but the number of professionals to treat diabetes are still less." The spread of diabetes is no longer confined to urban areas, with their unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits, but is fanning out into the rural areas.

Awareness of the disease, and what causes it, is also limited. Pierre Chancel, senior vice-president at the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventisfor for global diabetes, observes, "Firstly, diagnosis in India is still low. We will work to increase awareness and educate people about diabetes, so the number of patients under treatment will increase." Sanofi-Aventis is the market leader in the Rs 1,400-crore Indian anti-diabetic market, and one of its best-selling drugs is Amaryl.

Among new treatments for diabetes in India are the Exenatide (Byetta) injection, new oral drugs, inhaled insulin, Generex Oral-lyn(TM) insulin spray, Stem cell therapy, Pancreas/Islet cells transplants, and Biocon's oral insulin drug IN-105.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

 

Thailand patents and generics


Thai Pharmaceutical workers pack anti-retroviral drug Lanavir.

In 2006 Thailand suspended patent protections for expensive cutting-edge treatments for AIDS, cancer and heart disease, giving Thais access to cheap copycat versions. Activists against AIDS and poverty hailed Thailand as a global leader, but the kingdom has faced heavy pressure and threats of legal action from Western pharmaceutical firms.

In its last annual report in March 2009, the US Trade Representative's office said Thailand was within its WTO rights to approve generic drugs but called for "transparency and due process." Campaigners voiced outrage last year when they said they obtained a letter showing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's government would not license more generic drugs as the issue was holding up free trade talks with the United States.
Thailand seeks WTO solution on generics
Much of the generic drugs for AIDS treatment in Thailand come from India, which had a different patents story. They allowed only process patents in the past, which ensured that domestic pharmaceutical companies acquired the ability to manufacture copy-cat low cost generics. Those companies have now acquired capital, intellectual property, and infrastructure, and the Indian government's recognition of product patents in 2005 has not affected the availability of low-cost medicines in that country.

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