Chris Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sanofi, signalled his company’s continued interest in India as an investment destination and healthcare market in spite of challenges facing foreign-owned pharmaceutical companies in the country such as foreign direct investment (FDI) restrictions and drug price controls. He also drew attention to his company’s local manufacturing investments to counter the perception that foreign acquisitions of domestic firms were creating little value for the country. Continue reading “Sanofi’s not a “colonial company,” says CEO Chris Viehbacher”
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.