Companies

Natco Pharma begins sale of 1st compulsorily licensed drug

G. Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on July 07, 2012 Published on July 07, 2012




Cancer patients in India can reap the benefits of the first compulsorily licensed drug. Nexavar from Natco Pharma has hit the market and it costs just a fraction of its original inventor drug price.

“We have launched the generic version of Nexavar and the sales are on,” Dr P. Bhaskara Narayana, Chief Financial Officer, Natco Pharma, told Business Line here on Saturday.

In a recent landmark decision, the Indian Patent’s Office had allowed the Hyderabad-based company to make a generic version of Nexavar and sell it in the domestic market. The drug is for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer.

Natco has priced the drug at Rs 8,880 for a pack of 120 tablets (a month’s courseagainst Rs 2.8 lakh for Bayer's drug.

NEW MARKET

On the likely addition to Natco's revenue from the drug sales, the Natco executive said the market valuations could come down with the drastic decrease in price. “However, we are expecting creation of new market as those who could not afford it till now may buy it,”' he added.

According to industry estimates, the number of patients who require the drug far exceeded the supply. The patent office, in its order observed that only two per cent of the 8,842 patients needing the drug got it.

Natco is expecting to add about Rs 15 crore revenue from this product initially. Natco Pharma’s scrip closed at Rs 342.65 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday marking a decline of 1.10 per cent.

nagsridhu@thehindu.co.in

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Published on July 07, 2012
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