Indian Generic AIDS Drug Manufacturers Poised to Enter African Market
Following the withdrawal of the lawsuit filed by 39 pharmaceutical companies against South Africa, several Indian generic drug manufacturers are poised to enter the South African AIDS drug market, the Hindu Business Line reports. While Indian drug manufacturers Cipla and Hetero Drugs already sell drugs in Africa, other Indian companies manufacturing generic AIDS drugs -- Zydus Cadila, Ambalal Sarabhai and Ginix Pharma -- hope to "tap" into the market as well. Africa, with its large number of HIV/AIDS cases, has "huge" potential as a drug market, according to analysts. One analyst said, "If one would take into account the number of infected people in Africa, the estimate varies from 17 million to 20 million. Hence, due to the sizeable volume of the market, pharma companies would be eyeing that market in a big way" (Hindu Business Line, 4/23). Pankaj Patel, managing director and CEO of Zydus Cadila, added, "Africa has 25 million people infected with HIV and South Africa has the largest population of 4.7 million. With the present reach, for Indian companies ... the market size is estimated to be valued at around $1.75 billion" (Hindu Business Line, 4/23). However, the industry is "cautious" of the true size of Africa's market, which is determined by countries' drug distribution mechanisms. Cipla Joint Managing Director M.K. Hamied said, "The mechanism of distributing drugs mainly for HIV/AIDS is associated with that of the government and the non-governmental agencies that work for this cause. It is heavily subsidized and largely depends on the [g]overnment's health care expenditure, as most people are not in a position to buy these drugs at the prevalent prices" (Hindu Business Line, 4/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.