Drug pricing needs reasonable approach, says Cipla chief

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 27, 2015


‘Medicine prices can come down only through free competition’

The drug pricing system needs a fresh, reasonable approach, Cipla Chairman YK Hamied told shareholders.

“There is no positive drug policy in our country,” he said, urging the government to control the prices of only “high priced monopoly drugs”. Drugs made by more than a few companies should be independent of this, he said, speaking at the company’s 79th annual general meeting.

“The only way prices can come down is by free competition,” he said, adding his oft repeated statement that the company was willing to partner with the Government to address the problem. The Government, at present, controls prices on all 348 drugs (covering 650 medicines in different strengths and forms) mentioned in the essential drugs list.

The company has a turnover of over ₹11,000 crore for the year up to March 2015. And though growth has been significant, the company’s net profit has marginally declined due to statutory price reductions on several drugs and major investments in building the pipeline of medicines and newer products and capabilities, he said.

No mega deals

On the many high-profile exits from Cipla, he responded that they were the “normal dynamics” of any company and the company’s management was “healthy”.

Speaking on new ventures, Subhanu Saxena Cipla’s Managing Director and Global Chief Executive told mediapersons that its new consumer health business was looking at the nutrition segment as well and a pipeline of products was expected in the next 10 to 18 months.

Against the backdrop of fellow-competitors Lupin and Sun Pharma undertaking major acquisitions in the overseas and local markets, Saxena said he did not feel “compelled to do mega deals”.

The company has been establishing a front-end marketing presence in different countries over the last couple of years through joint ventures and acquisitions, he added.

As the company expects to grow its presence in therapeutic segments including respiratory medicines, HIV/antimalarial drugs and cancer medicines, in terms of expanded geographies, Saxena said he wanted Cipla to have a balanced presence across geographies, without too much exposure to any single market.

Published on August 27, 2015
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