As reported in LiveMint and India Today, the Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) and the China Pharmaceutical Industry Association (CPIA) plan to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in January to collaborate in joint tendering for global pharma export orders. Such a partnership, they believe, could expand the global pharma market to $1.1 trillion by 2014.
China has ability to produce low cost APIs and India can add formulation expertise and expertise in preparing documentation for tenders. IDMA secretary general Daara Patel said, "The collaboration between the two will give an edge over the developed countries. Together we can meet the generic drugs' requirements of the world." China and India manufacturers believe they can make product at less than 60% of western costs.
China officials say their drug makers are open to Indian regulators inspecting their manufacturing plants. The drug controller general in India has expressed a desire to make such inspections as China is a major bulk drug supplier to India - in the past there has been a problem with counterfeit drugs from China. China's government acknowledges that the two nations have to work jointly to tackle the counterfeit drug problem.
Just an observation. This type of agreement definitely should create a formidable presence in the generics markets - especially for tenders aimed at developing nations in competition with western suppliers. But it also opens the door for more potential counterfeiting activity and therefore the regulatory diligence in both countries (and elsewhere) needs to keep increasing to make sure the qulaity standards are being adhered to and in the long-term leveling the quality playing field accross the globe.
Posted by Bruce Lehr December 17th 2010.