Home >Companies >People >India’s monopoly regime stops us from making many drugs here: Cipla’s Hamied

Mumbai: Yusuf K. Hamied stepped down as managing director of Cipla Ltd in February after taking the 78-year-old company to the top ranks of India’s pharmaceuticals industry.

In Cipla, he is also credited with developing a brand that is well regarded in the international market. Edited excerpts from an interview:

What are the key triggers for Cipla to go global now?

Over a period of four decades, since the first patent law in India was passed in 1972 (the era of process patents), India has developed technology in pharmaceutical industry and the technological base of India in pharma has grown to an extent that the country is regarded as the pharmacy of the world.

So our market is not India alone now and we have to go global. Over the years, our industry has become global and we have to face global competition. And the other important point is the current scenario: that India has created a monopoly with the passing of the Patents (Amendment) Act 2005, shifting away from the earlier regime.

The 1972 law was essentially to not create monopoly and thus helped the industry to develop its own technologies. But we can’t manufacture many of our products using these technologies in the local market now because it will break the law.

At the same time, many countries are now moving in the direction of insisting on local manufacturing of these essential medicines. So it’s time to tap that opportunity following the laws of those countries. Also, the governments are ready to help us use our technologies for their benefit. The new drug price control order, which was drafted by the government without applying the mind, will worsen the situation for local companies in India.

Tell us about the new professional management.

The company needs to grow at a global scale. There is a limit for a promoter-driven organization to grow in that space. In the 1970s, Cipla’s revenue from exports was 10%, and it has grown to 60% now. The company is now set to take international revenue further up and that needs a professional management in place to control various markets, products and strategies.

Will you also source products that you manufacture in those countries for India?

Yes, if that is a feasible and economical option, we are totally open to that as well.

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