After months of similar saber rattling, an India advisory panel recommended that a 49 percent cap on direct foreign investment in its domestic drug companies be adopted. The move comes from fears that foreign investors will dominate the Indian market and make policies for affordable drugs for the Indian populace difficult if not impossible to achieve.
Foreign investment in Indian companies like Ranbaxy, Matrix Laboratories, Dabur Pharma, Shanta Biotech, Piramal Healthcare, Paras Pharmaceuticals and Orchid Chemicals has raised foreign ownership of Indian companies to 15 percent of the market.
Unsurprisingly, big pharma, as represented by the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers in India, issued a statement calling the proposal "retrograde". "It will have a chilling effect on FDI (foreign direct investment) in the country. FDI should not stand for funds deserting India."