13:19 18.10.2017

Indian pharmaceutical companies committed to drug affordability strategy

Indian pharmaceutical companies committed to drug affordability strategy

Transnational Indian pharmaceutical companies operating in Ukraine remain committed to the drug affordability strategy, according to Dr. U.P.R. Menon, the head of the Indian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association (IPMA).

"Most transnational Indian companies are currently present on the Ukrainian market. These companies supply good-quality goods at an affordable price. These medicines have always been in demand among Ukrainian patients," he told Interfax-Ukraine, while commenting on the presence of Indian pharmaceutical companies on the Ukrainian market.

According to Dr. Menon, Indian pharmaceutical companies supply mainly generics and branded generics to Ukraine. At the same time, many Indian pharmaceutical companies are working towards the development of innovative drugs, having their own research centers.

While commenting on the participation of Indian pharmaceutical companies in the procurement of medicines for state budget funds, the IPMA chief noted that the results of budget purchases, in particular, on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis treatment programs, had confirmed the effectiveness of procurement of drugs manufactured by Indian pharmaceutical companies.

"Last year's results show that Indian companies have a significant share. They all have WHO prequalification and are quite affordable," he said.

According to him, in particular, there is a high share of Indian pharmaceutical companies in the segment of anti-tuberculosis and antiretroviral drugs, in the production of which India has always been among the world leaders.

So, according to the Business Credit company, in 2016, Ukrainian clinics used Indian drugs to treat HIV/AIDS for an amount exceeding $326,000 (50,600 packs), and over $10.855 million (1.904 million packs) was spent on drugs to treat tuberculosis. According to some positions, the share of Indian drugs in this category reaches almost 57% of purchased drugs.

The IPMA head noted that currently more than 80% of antiretroviral drugs used globally to fight AIDS are produced by Indian pharmaceutical companies. In particular, the Medicines Patent Pool, a UN-funded patent organization, signed six sub-licenses with Indian pharmaceutical companies Aurobindo, Cipla, Desano, Emcure, Hetero Labs and Laurus Labs, which allowed them to create a new drug to treat AIDS - generic Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF) for 112 developing countries.

"I can state that the share of Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers in budget purchases has not decreased. International organizations that purchase medicines under these programs for state budget funds have the opportunity to purchase them directly at the central offices of pharmaceutical companies, so trading are also manufacturers who were previously not present on the Ukrainian market," he said.

The IPMA head noted that Indian pharmaceutical companies were implementing a strategy to increase the affordability of medicines.

"A high-quality and effective drug is not always the most expensive. Of course, generics are cheaper than original drugs. The expansion of the presence of high-quality generics is one of the tools to increase the affordability of drugs. Therefore, Indian companies have a demand in various markets of the world. The consumer is not the same in terms of capabilities and needs, and therefore generics have a demand even in developed markets, where the income of the population is high, and in countries with strict regulatory policies, where quality is paramount," he said.

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