Pharmas, Govt join for $80 bn off-patent market | business | Hindustan Times
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Pharmas, Govt join for $80 bn off-patent market

Pfizer’s Viagra will be among 61 drugs worth over US $ 80 billion that will go off patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office between 2011 and 2013, and the Indian pharmaceutical industry is gearing to make the most of it.

business Updated: Jan 13, 2010 21:32 IST
Sanchita Sharma

Pfizer’s Viagra will be among 61 drugs worth over US $ 80 billion that will go off patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office between 2011 and 2013, and the Indian pharmaceutical industry is gearing to make the most of it.

Among the blockbuster drugs going off patent are Diovan, used to treat blood pressure and heart disease, Seroquel and Zyprexa — used for schizopheria and bipolar disorder — and Singulair for asthma.

“A chunk of this $80 billion (Rs 3.6 lakh crore) market will come to India, but with competition increasingly eroding margins, it waits to be seen what effect it would have on bottomlines,” said Amar Lulla, managing director, Cipla, told Hindustan Times.

Once a patent expires, the manufacturer’s monopoly over a formulation gets over and affordable generic versions of the drug can be made and sold, bringing prices crashing down.

“With India’s capacity to manufacture drugs at competitive prices, there is big opportunity here,” Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a meeting with heads of pharmaceutical companies. “The Government has already cleared the deck by streamlining and strengthening of regulatory framework with international credence.”

India meets 95 per cent of its domestic demands through indigenous production. Generic drugs apart, third-generation vaccines, bioproducts and biosimilars are driving the sector’s annual growth of 12-14 per cent.

India’s Rs 85,000 crore pharma industry exports 40 per cent of its products, putting it among the top 20 exporters of drugs and vaccines. India accounts for 8 per cent of global production and 2 per cent of the world market.