Bill Gates has full faith in Indian pharma companies

November 5th, 2008 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might doubt some Indian pharmaceutical majors’ quality parameters but Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has full faith in them and would continue to do business with them.“The science of Indian pharmaceuticals is quite strong. We will continue our involvement with them. The cheap drugs (sourced from India) are benefiting many countries,” Gates told reporters here Wednesday.

“We have association with many companies like the Ranbaxy and Dr. Reddy’s Lab,” he said adding that beyond drug procurement, he is engaged with them for vaccine development.

“In the near future, you will listen from me more about vaccine developments for diseases like malaria, pneumonia, AIDS, and child and maternal mortality.

“Here, we have a very good collaboration with India. We need to reduce the burden,” Gates told IANS.

He noted that an Indian researcher was recently funded to pursue an innovative genetic approach to fighting HIV/AIDS as part of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, a $100 million Gates Foundation programme to support cutting-edge health research.

Earlier, the US FDA has doubted the processes followed at some of Ranbaxy’s manufacturing facilities. Ranbaxy had announced that it had provided all necessary data to US FDA on all the ongoing inquiries against its products and process followed.

Gates, the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is currently in India to discuss several healthcare issues with a focus on polio eradication.

He has expressed his confidence about India’s capabilities to eradicate polio and lauded the efforts made so far. He said the 2009 would be pivotal for polio eradication.

He is also helping India in introducing a polio injection along side the oral immunisation drive to curb the disease in the country.

The foundation has so far committed more than $400 million worldwide to support polio eradication efforts with India among its recipients. In November last year, it donated $100 million to Rotary India to fight polio over the next three years.

India is one of the four countries grappling to control the disease that affects children below the age of five. This year, till Oct 31, the country has reported 499 cases of polio, accounting for 35 percent of the cases reported worldwide.

Last year, the country reported 874 cases, over 90 percent of them from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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