labels: pharmaceuticals, marketing - general
Pharma MNCs to tap Indian market post-patent regime news
Nisha Das
09 May 2003
Mumbai: Leading multinational pharmaceutical companies operating in India have outlined various strategies to tap the Rs 18,000-crore domestic market in the post-2005 patent regime.

Companies such as Glaxo, Pfizer, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Aventis Pharma are in the process of finalising their Indian strategy by rationalising their product portfolio with a focus on more patented products, contract research and contract manufacturing with domestic pharma corporates, and aggressive marketing and sales by forming revamped marketing teams.

The global pharma industry is valued at $300 billion and India''s share is only 1.6 per cent. Says Glaxo SmithKline India managing director S Kalyanasundaram: "We will focus 30 of our power brands in various therapeutic segment and we expect them to grow by over 50 per cent in the post-patent regime."

Adds Motilal Oswal Securities pharma analyst Shahina Mukadam: "India is a signatory to the World Trade Organisation and by 2005, the country will recognise product patents. The Second Patent Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament, though there are some difference of opinion on compulsory licensing, in 2002. It aligns Indian law with those recommended by trade-related property rights. That effectively means that patent protection will be extended to all products patented after 1995, if they are introduced here and multinational corporations are focusing on this currently."

The US-based pharma firm Pfizer has said that the company has been focusing on 12 products from the existing portfolio. Bangalore-based AstraZeneca trimmed its product portfolio to 14 patented products from the earlier 35.

Says Pfizer India managing director Hocine Sidi Said: "We will continuously rationalise products and introduce new patented ones in the Indian market at the same time as the rest of the world. Post-2005, we expect more research-driven collaborations in India." Pfizer Inc has already set up a four-member team to evaluate the business possibilities in India in the post-patent regime.

India''s move towards patent regime also attracts companies to look at India as their centre for research and development as well as for contract research. The US-based Eli Lilly has started to source bulk drugs such as Nizatidine and Methohexital for its global requirements from Shasun Chemicals.

The company is also working for another seven molecules for Lilly''s developing industrial production process, say industry sources. Similarly, 35-40 per cent of the global manufacturing volumes of GSK worldwide, in number of tablets, liquid drugs and injectables, is sourced from India.


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Pharma MNCs to tap Indian market post-patent regime