India's government has been rattling sabres for some time with regard to high priced drugs and compulsory licenses. Now they will go after three more cancer drugs and their makers to force licenses. The drugs are Roche's Herceptin (breast cancer), BMS' Ixabepilone chemotherapeutic agent, and Dasatinib for leukemia.
Last year, the government forced Bayer to give a compulsory license for its Nexaver (kidney and liver disease). The drug's price dropped by a whopping 95% in country after the generic maker Natco Pharma took a license.
This is all about the price Western companies charge in India for cancer meds. Herceptin is priced at $1400 per month, Ixabepilone is similarly priced and Dasatinib is priced at $300 per month. These are out of the reach of India's common man.
One enthusiastic oncologist was quoted , "It's a very good move and will not just benefit Indians but possibly also bring down cancer drug prices in countries where the pharma market is not controlled by the US and western European countries."
Said another patient advocate from the group Knowledge Ecology International, "Companies like Roche have cut prices of Herceptin in the past but the price cust has been a joke."
So there continues to be a strong backlash against western style pricing in emerging markets like India. This will no doubt result in companies having to re-evalute their competitive strategies in these markets -- and certainly will affect the profits they can expect. The so-called pharmerging markets are fighting back more frequently now and may not be the panacea once supposed for Big Pharma struggling to gain new profits to make up for those that have gone over the "patent cliff". India, for sure, is not cooperating so far. See Pharmalot.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 15th 2013.