Biocon is closing on heels of Roche in India with a competitor to the latter's Herceptin. Earlier this year, Roche declined to pursue a patent extension for Herceptin in India when the India government presented it with the liklihood that it would also have to grant a compulsory license. Roche chose to abandon the patent and not provide and info under a license to competition.
However, a scant two months later, Biocon seems on the verge of introducing its own version of the drug to the market (in collaboration with Mylan). It is approved to make the drug based on its appearance on the Drug Controller General of India list.
Roche has been dropping the price steadily over the past year -- first with a 15% decrease in the price in India. Then after partnering with the India company Emcure Pharma, the price is now about 67% of the former price in the market. Analysts and public health groups though expect the price to drop even further after Biocon's product is for sale.
"We welcome the competition that this approval may bring and expect that the price of the drug woudl significantly reduce as generic launch ushers in and substantially increases access to millions of women living with breast cancer," said Leena Menghaney of medicine sans frontieres (a patient advocacy group). See Economic Times.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Nov 22nd 2013.