MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s smaller generic drugmakers, struggling to cope with a bruised reputation and tougher regulation in the United States, are under pressure to consider branching out to new, less-profitable markets or sell out to larger rivals.
Two years after its most high-profile regulatory setback to date in the United States – Ranbaxy’s (RANB.NS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) $500 million U.S. fine for drug safety violations – India’s $15 billion a year generic drug industry is still rebuilding its image in its biggest market.
By Zeba Siddiqui
Cipla Ltd, founded in 1935 by scientist Khwaja Abdul Hamied, is among India’s oldest pharmaceutical companies. But it made it to the global stage only in 2001, when Hamied’s son offered to make AIDS drugs for less than $1 a day, much to the chagrin of Western multinational firms charging four times that.
Yusuf Hamied went on to build a multi-billion dollar empire by supplying cheaper forms of drugs discovered by large multinational firms to many poor nations, including those in Africa. In 2013, Hamied stepped down from his executive role, and industry analysts have been closely watching Cipla’s strategy under new Chief Executive Subhanu Saxena.