Five global giants opt for China over India for R&D units
Media Release
Aug. 11, 2007

Five multinational pharmaceutical companies have preferred China over India for setting up research and development units due to the inadequacies in India's patent laws. Besides Novartis, the other companies are Roche, J&J, Glaxo and Astrazeneca, Ranjit Shahani, managing director of the Indian arm of Swiss multinational Novartis, said the R&D focus of all these centres, set up during the last two years, were mostly tropical diseases, or, diseases of the developing world. Shahani is also the president of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), which represents multinational pharma companies.

"We are incurring more expenses by setting up laboratories outside India as these diseases are specific to India and not Singapore. Whatever we do, we will have to find patients for clinical trials and treatments in India. It shows that even multinational companies interested in developing drugs for countries like India are not finding the country as a preferred destination for investment," he explained.

“It is not about multinationals investing in the country. Unless incremental innovations are allowed to be patented, even research-based domestic pharmaceutical companies will not be able to survive. Almost all the new drugs being developed by Indian companies are not original research products but incremental innovations,” Shahani added.


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