Regulate foreign investment for cheaper medicines: AzadNovember 1st, 2010 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Monday warned that the recent acquisition of Indian companies by foreign multinationals (MNCs) may lead to higher drug prices.
“The issue of takeover of Indian pharma companies by MNCs, which is of serious concern, needs to be tackled effectively only in terms of extant FDI (foreign direct investment) Policy for the pharmaceutical sector,” Azad said in a letter to Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
Azad also asked the commerce minister to place all FDI in the sector under the regulation of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
“FDI in this sector needs to be revisited immediately, and such investments be shifted from the automatic route to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route if we have to ensure healthy growth of pharmaceutical industry and availability of affordable medicines,” Azad said.
The issue of MNCs taking over Indian pharma companies has been a major concern, with experts saying it can lead to shooting up of medicine prices and decrease in production of generic drugs.
“The immediate cause of concern is the series of takeover of important Indian companies by MNCs and the trend towards domestic companies becoming junior partners of MNCs through tie-ups,” said an open letter sent by a group of social organisations, including the All India People’s Science Network and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan.
“Six major acquisitions of Indian companies have taken place in the last four years. These are Ranbaxy, Dabur Pharma, Shanta Biotech, Piramal Healthcare, Matrix Lab and Orchid Chemicals, and more are on the anvil,” the letter said.
India is the fourth largest producer of drugs in the world and a world class supplier of relatively cheap generic medicines. It is also the largest supplier of low-priced anti-retrovirals, and exports medicines to over 200 countries.
The pharma sector is a major foreign exchange earner, only next to the information technology sector, with a turnover in excess of Rs.1 billion.
- Foreign investment in pharma to face competition check - Oct 11, 2011
- Competition check for FDI in pharma will help consumers: CUTS - Oct 11, 2011
- Foreign takeover of Indian drug-makers leaves ministry worried - Aug 04, 2011
- Automatic approval to FDI in greenfield pharma projects to continue: RBI - Dec 12, 2011
- Concerned over possible hike in medicine prices: Jena - Nov 29, 2011
- India clears 22 FDI proposals worth $112.5 million - Apr 20, 2012
- Remove non-tariff barriers in pharma sector: India - Jul 03, 2012
- Issues affecting Indian biopharma industry discussed - Jun 10, 2011
- Task force to strengthen Indian pharma industry - Mar 15, 2011
- India allows FDI in limited liability partnership firms - May 24, 2011
- Need for early conclusion of investment promotion issue with Nigeria: Anand Sharma - Mar 16, 2011
- MNCs gaining control on Indian drug market - Aug 04, 2010
- Ranbaxy's South African arm bags $133 million order - Dec 20, 2010
- Public not to be hit if Natco Pharma licence cancelled: Bayer - Sep 03, 2012
- India seeks Mauritius investment in key sectors - Feb 07, 2012
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,