Guest column : What Pegasys says about IPR in India

On November 2, the Indian Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) revoked Hoffmann-La Roche’s patent on the hepatitis C drug Pegasys.  In particular, the IPAB found that Roche failed to demonstrate Pegasys is more efficacious than an earlier version of the drug.  Read the ruling here. The ruling brings three critical issues to the fore. Continue reading “Guest column : What Pegasys says about IPR in India”

Think different : Big Pharma and drug pricing in emerging markets

I’d like to introduce a guest column by Salil Kallianpur, a healthcare marketing professional with experience in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. Salil is an avid reader and follower of healthcare current affairs, its politics, and strategies.  He comments on the intersection of healthcare and life on his blog My Pharma Reviews. He is based in Mumbai. The views in this article are his own and not those of his employer, a pharmaceutical organisation.

The price of medicines has always been a matter of animated, even acrimonious, debate. Most of the time, activists assume that the only way to solve social challenges is through government and charity and that the only purpose of business and investing is to make money. Responsible sections of the pharmaceutical industry reject that worldview. Consider this.

Swiss drug maker Roche reduced the price of its blood cancer drug Mabthera by 50% in South Africa. Sanofi slashed prices on its diabetes drug Lantus and its cancer treatment Taxotere in the Asia-Pacific region. Eisai cut prices of its Alzheimer’s drug Aricept in 6 Asian countries and GSK cut prices on “essential” drugs by 40% to 50% in Kenya.

These recent Big Pharma attempts at tiered pricing in the developing world signal a deviation from the age-old strategy of recovering research costs through high prices.

What’s changed? Continue reading “Think different : Big Pharma and drug pricing in emerging markets”

Roche’s Emcure deal – thumbs up for market economics?

My colleague Vikas Dandekar of Pharmasianews reports on a potentially pathbreaking event. Swiss drug maker Roche has struck a manufacturing deal with Pune’s Emcure to produce some portion of its blockbuster biologic Herceptin for breast cancer and Pegasys for hepatitis B and C in India for India.

Of course, it doesn’t look as if Emcure is going to start manufacturing the products from the cell culture stage – the story quotes a senior Roche executive referring to “late-stage” manufacturing. Don’t know exactly what that entails. This executive talks of “substantial” price adjustments that could take place as a result.  Assuming its a deep engagement,  the news is pretty exciting. Here’s why. Continue reading “Roche’s Emcure deal – thumbs up for market economics?”