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Last Updated : Apr 02, 2013 09:57 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Novartis verdict a boost; India too big to ignore: Lupin

S Ramesh, CFO, Lupin says that the Novartis judgment will not impact market much and it is a positive for domestic pharmaceutical sector. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he adds, "No company can think of ignoring the Indian market and I do not see MNCs going slow on investment in India."


S Ramesh, CFO, Lupin says that the Novartis judgment will not impact market much and it is a positive for domestic pharmaceutical sector.  In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he adds, "No company can think of ignoring the Indian market and I do not see MNCs going slow on investment in India."


Below is the edited transcript of the interview on CNBC-TV18


Q: In a decisive victory for the Indian pharmaceutal industry, Novartis lost a landmark patent case on the cancer drug Glivec on Monday. What could be the impact of this particular judgment on the pharmaceutical industry and how would it affect future growth?


A: I do not think the judgment is going to impact the market considerably because the patented-drugs segment constitutes less than 1 percent of the Indian pharmaceutical market. At least 90-95 percent of the overall market actually consists of drugs which have been around for more than 10 years, so to that extent, this particular decision will really not have a considerable affect on the market itself. So I do not see this as a disturbing trend at all.


Q: Does this change the scenario for domestic manufacturers?


A: This is yet another attempt by big pharmaceutical companies at 'evergreening' of patents. Large pharmaceutical companies have been given patents for a period of 20 years during which they their monies. But in reality, large pharmaceutical companies are actually running out of newer products. Their pipeline is pretty dry and they are looking at methods of 'evergreening' patents to ensure their revenue stream is kind of intact.


The Supreme Court judgment defeats the 'evergreening' trend and makes sure that patent is protected only if there is a new innovation quotient supported by clinical data.


The judgment settles the argument that if there is no innovation in the effectiveness of the drug, there is point in patenting the drug.


Q: Do you think this judgment is going to discourage multinational corporations (MNCs) from launching patented drugs?


A: I do not think they will resort to such a measure as India is too large a market to be ignored.


Q: Do you think they will invest less in research and development (R&D) in India?


A: I do not think that MNCs will actually go slow on investing or R&D in India.


Q: Will this ruling be used as any sort of precedent in other emerging markets facing similar situations?

A: That could very well be the case because India is seen as a leader among emerging markets. I would not be surprised if this decision has repercussions in other markets.



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First Published on Apr 2, 2013 05:28 pm
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