Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Indian drug firms use S.Africa as launch pad to continent

by Staff Writers
Johannesburg (AFP) May 22, 2011
A white South African woman runs the local operations of India's largest drug company, Ranbaxy, and the second largest, Cipla, is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

India's pharmaceutical industry has rolled out a strong local presence in South Africa, cornering a large share of the market and using the country as a base to gush a flood of cheap generic drugs into Africa.

Unlike most multinational companies, India's "big three" pharmaceuticals -- Ranbaxy, Cipla and Dr Reddy's -- have carefully cultivated their local credentials by bringing South Africans into the top corporate echelons.

Ranbaxy and Cipla have also won fans by slashing the price of anti-AIDS drugs, saving countless lives in the country with the world's largest HIV epidemic.

"They've been very strategic in terms of how they've positioned themselves in South Africa and using South Africa as a launch pad into Africa," said Abdullah Verachia, an analyst at consulting firm Frontier Advisory who has followed the Indian companies' ascent.

"That reflects one, their understanding of the market and two, their commitment to South Africa. You seldom get a foreign multinational company appointing a local CEO," he told AFP.

India's pharmaceutical industry has transformed itself over the past three decades from almost non-existent to the second-largest in the world by volume, with revenues of $3 billion (two billion euros).

Cheap generic drugs have been the catalysts of that growth, and Africa has been a key market, buying 14 percent of India's $8-billion pharmaceutical exports in 2009.

The relationship was cemented in 2001 when Cipla announced it would supply anti-AIDS drugs to Africa at a massive discount, slashing the per-patient price of the "AIDS cocktail" from more than $10,000 a year to less than $400.

"Indian pharmaceutical companies have been absolutely critical in bringing down the cost of treatment," Francois Venter, head of the South African HIV Clinicians Society, told AFP.

"If the cost of treatment hadn't come down, there would be very many fewer people on the drugs."

Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an estimated 22.5 million HIV positive people -- 68 percent of all infections globally -- is chronically short of funds to fight the disease.

Thanks to cheap Indian drugs, it has been able to increase the proportion of AIDS patients on treatment from two percent in 2003 to 37 percent in 2009.

But the Indian firms have gained more than just goodwill in the bargain. Providing discount generics has been big business and helped the Indian industry displace its Western rivals.

South Africa, which has 5.6 million people living with HIV, in 2008 launched a tender worth $526 million to provide its health department's anti-AIDS drugs for two years, giving preference to companies with local operations.

South African firm Aspen Pharmacare took the lion's share of the contract, but Ranbaxy's local joint venture Sonke won 4.5 percent of the deal and Cipla Medpro, Cipla's local subsidiary, won 1.9 percent.

Ranbaxy, today South Africa's fifth-largest pharmaceutical company, last year opened a $30-million manufacturing facility west of Johannesburg -- its second.

Cipla, the country's sixth-largest pharmaceutical, has announced a $36-million upgrade to its plant in the eastern city of Durban.

Verachia said the thriving pharmaceutical partnerships are part of a larger vision of south-south cooperation that South Africa and India share.

"We share a very close diplomatic and political relationship in that both countries are advancing the interests of the south," he said.

"That close and burgeoning political relationship has translated into quite a strong commercial relationship."

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Sudan stages new Darfur air strikes: UN
United Nations (AFP) May 18, 2011
Sudanese government warplanes have staged new air strikes in Darfur, prompting the United Nations to halt flights in the stricken region, UN officials said Wednesday. The UN mission in Darfur, UNAMID, said in a statement that warplanes on Tuesday hit the village of Sukamir, which is near Kuma, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the main Darfur city of El Fasher. That air attack cam ... read more

UN launches study of Japan's nuclear disaster: Ban

Erratic information fuels mistrust of TEPCO

Japan, China, S. Korea leaders visit nuclear region

'Mega-float' to hold water at Japan nuclear plant

Amazon selling more Kindle books than print books

China slaps export quota on rare earth alloys

Malaysians protest Australian rare earths plant

Google stops digitizing old newspapers

Huge waves swamp Fiji hotel rooms

Greenhouse ocean study offers warning for future

Developing solutions for water problems in Ethiopia

Chileans set against giant dams project

Research aircraft Polar 5 returned from spring measurements in the high Arctic

Denmark plans claim to North Pole seabed: foreign minister

Ecological impact on Canada's Arctic coastline linked to climate change

Canada PM's Arctic stand 'frosty rhetoric'

Livestock also suffer traffic accidents during transport

Patterns Of Ancient Croplands Give Insight Into Early Hawaiian Society

New method of unreeling cocoons could extend silk industry beyond Asia

Agony for Japan livestock farmers in nuclear crisis

Village gasps for air from ashy shadow of Iceland volcano

Man returns to desolate Argentina town after flood

Fears of more flight chaos as Iceland sees new eruption

Volcanic eruption shuts down Iceland airspace

Indian drug firms use S.Africa as launch pad to continent

British PM rejects pressure on aid budget

Sudan stages new Darfur air strikes: UN

Mozambique wages war on man-eating crocs

Most common form of inherited intellectual disability may be treatable

The roots of memory impairment resulting from sleep deprivation

Clubbers can smell a good nightspot

Sporadic mutations identified in children with autism spectrum disorders

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement