First Published: Thu, Jun 26 2014. 07 13 PM IST
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Indian, US generic drug firms launch ‘Coalition for Affodable Care’

Run by the India First Group, it aims to challenge Big Pharma’s domination and counter anti-India advocacy campaigns
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Indian, US generic drug firms launch ‘Coalition for Affodable Care’
The India First Group’s stated mission is to mobilize companies who support access to low cost, high quality alternatives to ‘a cocktail of unaffordable branded medicines’. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Washington: Indian and US companies making high-quality, low-cost generic pharmaceuticals announced the launch of a “Coalition for Affordable Care” in Washington on Wednesday.
The coalition will take big American pharmaceutical giants head-on, which in the recent past had launched a strong anti-India campaign against the efforts of these companies to provide affordable health care to people in India, and also in third world countries.
The Coalition for Affordable Care, run by the recently formed India First Group, includes the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance that comprises prominent companies such as Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Lupin Ltd, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Cadila Healthcare Ltd (Zydus Cadila) and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, who are busy developing new drug discoveries and health treatments for their product pipelines.
The group alleged that forces backed by Big Pharma, including Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the most powerful special interest business lobby in the US, chaired by Pfizer Inc.’s Ian Reid, the Global Intellectual Property Center of the US chamber of commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers, continued their campaign to downgrade the reputation of these Indian pharmaceuticals.
This was in order to maintain their market share and destroy competition, the Coalition for Affordable Care said in a media statement, adding that it aims to counter anti-Indian, negative advocacy campaigns in this regard.
“Over the past year, there has been a concerted effort underway in Washington to bash India and cast India in the poorest light—on matters of intellectual property protection, on matters of quality, on matters of business credibility,” said the India First Group’s Ron Somers. “Entire investigations have been launched by the US Government spurred on by the Big Pharma lobby.”
“The plain fact remains that the United States and India must work together to develop health care delivery models that provide access—not only for our own populations but for all humanity—or else peace and stability will be compromised worldwide,” he said. Somers was the former president of US-India Business Council.
India First Group’s mission will be to mobilize like-minded companies who support access to low cost, high quality alternatives to what has become a cocktail of unaffordable branded medicines, the media note said.
Because of the excessively high prices of these medicines, treatment is now beyond the reach of most of the world’s population, it said. PTI
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