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Roche drugs now 25 pc cheaper

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Nov. 5

PHARMA major Roche Scientific Company (India) Pvt Ltd has announced cut in the prices of its existing drugs by 25 per cent to consolidate its presence in the Indian market.

Life-saving drugs of Roche India such as Xeloda, Cellcept and Mabthera covering the oncology, virology and transplantation segments will now be available in India at 25 per cent cheaper rates. The company has so far sold drugs worth more than 35 million Swiss francs (about Rs 11.81 crore), including in segments such as osteoporosis and epilepsy.

"In fact, Roche India's drugs will be sold at 40 to 60 per cent of the prices they are sold in the foreign markets. We will be able to offset the price cut by focusing on distribution network and adding volumes," according to Dr G.L. Telang, Managing Director of Roche India.

On the company's new distribution strategy, Dr Telang said the company has appointed the New Delhi-based Taksal Pharma Pvt Ltd, as the importer and distributor of Roche India's parent company F. Hoffman La Roche products in India. Asked why the company did not opt for continuing its distribution tie-up with Nicholas Piramal for these products, he said, "We are looking for focused distribution. Our new distributor will be handling only our products and providing our cost-effective new therapies."

Dr Telang said the key focus areas of the company in the coming months included global trials in India in the transplant areas. Its breast cancer studies, especially for "difficult to treat" patients and safety data collection for Pegasys are ongoing process in India.

On new therapies, Dr Telang said for the first-time Roche India was looking at introducing therapies in dermatology and osteoporosis. "Therapies like anti-CMV and treatment of bone metastasis are in the pipeline in India. The company will also be launching difficult to treat colorectal and renal cancer drugs," he said.

According to him, a major chunk of its proposed investment in India would go towards providing integrated healthcare solutions, which include diagnosis and treatment, mainly in the areas of virology and oncology. In the virology segment, this would lead to diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and early response in viral Hepatitis.

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