Cipla to sell MSD’s HIV drug in India 

P. T. Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on February 20, 2014


Drug maker Cipla will market multinational company MSD’s HIV drug raltegravir (400mg) tablet in India.

Announcing this India-specific, non-exclusive partnership on Thursday, the two companies said Cipla would market the drug under a different brand name. Access to raltegravir is important for patients who require it as part of third-line salvage regimen where there are few options left, the note added.

A patient-centric approach and access are the cornerstone of the partnership, the companies said in a joint statement, adding that they expected the alliance to broaden the reach of raltegravir in private and public markets in India.

KG Ananthakrishnan, MSD’s Managing Director in India, said that their India-alliance with Cipla would seek to address treatment challenges for high risk patients by providing broader access to innovative medicines and vaccines.

“It is a complementary partnership as MSD brings the research and scientific excellence for raltegravir, and Cipla brings their marketing excellence, significant reach among key clinician categories to drive product access. MSD and Cipla both share the same commitment of providing broader access to HIV treatment,” he said.

MSD also has a tie up with Mumbai’s Sun Pharma on diabetes drugsitagliptin.

3rd line therapy treatment

Cipla’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Jaideep Gogtay said that raltegravir, a third line therapy treatment, would be a value-addition to Cipla’s portfolio of HIV/AIDS treatments, especially for those patients who are resistant to the 1st and 2nd line therapy treatment.

Cipla’s HIV/AIDS medications, including the innovative triple cocktail drug, have been available for patients for over a decade now. “We anticipate this drug being available to patients from middle of this year,” he added.

Subhanu Saxena, Cipla’s MD and global CEO, pointed out: “With Cipla’s strength in India, South Africa and other emerging markets, we have long been the pharmaceutical company serving patients who most need access to affordable medicines. By entering into this marketing partnership with MSD, Cipla is demonstrating its commitment to working with partners globally who share the same pro-access philosophy of Cipla.”

Reduces deaths

Wider access to anti-retroviral therapies (AIDS drugs) led to 29 per cent reduction in estimated annual AIDS-related deaths, the note said, citing Government data from the National Aids Control Programme.

The total number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in India is estimated at around 20.9 lakh in 2011. Children who are less than 15 years of age account for 7 per cent (1.45 lakh) of all infections; while 86 per cent are in the age-group of 15-49 years. Of all HIV infections, 39 per cent (8.16 lakh) are among women, the note said.

Using globally accepted methodologies and updated evidence on survival to HIV with and without treatment, it is estimated that about 1.48 lakh people died of AIDS related causes in 2011 in India. Deaths among HIV infected children account for 7 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths, the note said.


Published on February 20, 2014

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