Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004

News
Features
Stocks
Cross Currency
Shipping
Archives
Google

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - IPR


MNC drug cos ready to swallow pill

P.T. Jyothi Datta

Mumbai , Feb. 2

WHEN an Eli Lilly employee in New Delhi logged into Indianapolis to trouble-shoot a local problem, little did he realise that the issue was in fact addressed from back home in Noida!

No more recent than last week, this experience illustrates that multinational drug companies are not just watching the rapidly evolving domestic market, but are actually venturing out there and getting their hands dirty.

MNC pharma companies have in the past been holding their horses, read investment plans, until product-patents were introduced in India. But with the country poised to honour product-patents, come January 1, 2005 - pharma industry representatives are optimistic.

Although "feel good" may be a phrase that has been done to death, they say, it is sending out the right signals, for parent companies are sitting up and taking notice.

But then again, it is unlikely that proprietary products will flood the domestic market from the cut-off date. "It may well take a good couple of more years before key patented products and major investments begin to flow in," they opine.

Even as GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd (GSKPL) is looking to increase its clinical research load in India - GSK's Managing Director, Mr Kal Sundaram, feels that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Putting on his "Indian hat," he observes: "If Intellectual Property Right (IPR) norms are tightened and India reinforces its commitment to innovator companies, it will lure knowledge-based companies in infotech and pharma. For the moment, companies would operate under the current dynamics until stringent regulatory processes and infrastructure are put in place to support the Patent (Third) Amendment Bill and protect IPR. There will not be many patent-protected drugs launched in India till 2007."

Mr Rajiv Gulati, Chairman and Managing Director, Eli Lilly in India, is in agreement. "There is unlikely to be a dramatic change in the current scenario, both for domestic and MNC companies. The worry of a sudden price increase is misplaced, as the existing products will continue and about 90 per cent of industry sales will be from non-patented molecules. Change will be gradual, Eli Lilly will see more activity in the next few months on the business and drug launch front - Forteo (an osteoporosis drug) and Elantra (for cancer) will be launched by middle and late 2004 respectively," he said.

Industry representatives point out that the Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company has the backbone to its global systems operating out of Noida, courtesy a $25-million deal signed with TCS. Similar ventures in business-processing and clinical research are being actively explored by other MNC pharma companies, they observe.

Meanwhile, in an effort to put a lid on the scepticism regarding whether MNCs will increase their involvement with India - the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), a forum for MNC drug companies, has recently embarked on an exercise to put a tangible figure to business prospects that they envisage for India.

More Stories on : IPR | Pharmaceuticals

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page



Stories in this Section
ISACA wing bags award


Opening the door for more goodies?
Devolution formula must reward States, says Jayalalithaa
IBRD to study Karnataka's development models
`Perception panel' to spruce up Bengal image
Recapture CIS markets, engineering exporters told
Machine tools sector too goes for outsourcing
Polluted Pampa crying for attention
English Indian Clays told to fix pollution problem
Rolling back of customs duty — Picture tube makers fear inverted duty structure
Chile keen on selling wine to India
`India will benefit more in the post-quota period'
Hong Kong woos Indian investment
`Romania will be happy to be a gateway'
Trauma care centres on highways mulled
Transco may buy 620 m.u. to meet power shortfall
CERC orders `free' transmission line availability
REC to fund Bengal thermal project expansion
Shipping cos make most of freight market boom
`More consolidation in steel sector imminent'
Scrap penalty for delay in service tax payment, says PHD Chamber
Karnataka Mayors' plea
JC Penney to increase textile outsourcing from India
Linking cotton yarn price with export `not correct', says SIMA
TT Services to launch Visa support services for New Zealand
Hyundai emerges as second biggest exporter
Centre plans stringent norms for food products — PFA Act amendment on cards
Global Hospitals to expand
Building expo in Delhi from Feb 18
`Duty sops to import copper cathodes may hit small units'
ISRO for info kiosks
KFCC threat to stop film production
MNC drug cos ready to swallow pill
Role of NGOs hailed
Centre gives nod for Coimbatore industrial cluster project
Power centre
Petronet Dahej plant to be commissioned on Feb 9
`Tex Spares 2004' to hold business meet on wind energy
Granite expo
Traditional products pull down H1 export growth
Duty-free credit entitlement certificate route norms relaxed — Service providers allowed to import `any' capital goods
Chhattisgarh paves way for pvt. role in tourism



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line