India's policy makers had been contemplating putting a cap of 49% on foreign drug maker's ability to buy Indian drug companies, but decided not to go that route. The policy discussion had been kicked off by the fact foreign companies had increased their share in India's drug market from 15% to more than 25% in the past three years. It was feared that foreign drug makers would not have an interest in supplying affordable medicines to India's poorer citizens.
However, a different compromise has been struck. Foreign Investment instead of being capped will be closely scrutinized by India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board which will itself be overseen by the Competition Commission (anyway see any hints of previous British rule in this bureacracy?). It seems terribly bureacratic to me, but all the key players seem happy from global multinationals like Pfizer to the domestic trade group Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Oct 11th 2011.