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Updated: March 25, 2012 17:28 IST

Roche to slash prices of expensive cancer drugs in India

PTI
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A view of the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding in Basel, Switzerland. File photo
AP A view of the headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding in Basel, Switzerland. File photo

This development comes close on the heels of India permitting Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell cancer treatment drug Nexavar at a price over 30 times lower its patent-holder Bayer Corporation.

Global pharma major Roche is all set to slash the price of two expensive cancer drugs in India, as part of efforts to strengthen its position amid rising competition from generic drug makers, says a media report.

“Roche Holding AG is cutting the price of two expensive cancer drugs in India and giving them new names in an effort to gain market share and avoid competition from generic drugs in the fast-growing economy,” the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Roche head of Middle East and Asian markets Tuygan Goeker told the daily that the prices would be cut in India starting next year.

The development comes close on the heels of India permitting Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell cancer treatment drug Nexavar at a price over 30 times lower than charged by its patent-holder Bayer Corporation.

According to the daily, by giving the drugs new names in India, Roche hopes to avoid losing pricing power elsewhere.

“The arrangement involves Herceptin and Mabthera, the wholesale costs of which are about $ 3,000 to $ 4,500 a month per patient,” the report said.

It noted that by offering lower-priced versions, Roche also aims to avoid being compelled under Indian law to allow generic-drug makers to produce less-expensive copies.

Mr. Goeker said the drugs would be packaged locally by India-based Emcure Pharmaceuticals.

Parma Giants like Roche should be encouraged to slash the prices much more and for also other medicenes like pegasis, interferon etc., and more of the chronic desease drugs.

from:  Satish
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 13:55 IST

India must seize the opportunity and ensure that not only expensive cancer drugs but all lifesaving drugs including antibiotics follow the same ruling.How i wish India still had process patent in place!

from:  Thambu
Posted on: Mar 25, 2012 at 13:27 IST

Roche saw the writing on the wall and before generic competition could challenge the price and the patent it decided to reduce the price!

from:  H.N.Ramakrishna
Posted on: Mar 24, 2012 at 13:40 IST

One compulsory licensing agreement allowed powerful pharma company to slash prices of its cancer drugs in India in order to face the same tune of what Bayer had. So far no bureaucrats not have shown to take such bold and courageous decision under existing law. Soon more and more drug companies follows these steps in order to prevent their patented drugs market in this country as well avoiding generic competition from the domestic firms using the option of affordability difficulties to the patients when it compare to their economic conditions. Indian drug industries to explore this idea keeping in the view of providing drugs to the patients in cheaper without having making money or disrespect to IPR.

from:  RAGHAVENDRA R PAWAR
Posted on: Mar 24, 2012 at 12:22 IST

Way to Go ! This is a live and great example of what Indian governance and bureaucracy can do for welfare of poor people of our country it it wishes to.

from:  Tarun Sikri New Delhi
Posted on: Mar 24, 2012 at 10:02 IST

The amendments made in the Indian Patent Act 1970 was a great regressive act of the Indian Government. This single act of the government has demolished all the achievements the Indian Pharma Industry has made over decades. From the position of claiming supremacy over the MNCs now the Indian giants in the field are simply selling away their companies to MNCs. At least the government has utilised the clause to extend compulsory license to Indian players. Thanks to Mr.Manmohan.

from:  a.g.rajmohan
Posted on: Mar 24, 2012 at 06:06 IST
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