Mumbai: Drug maker Cipla Ltd on Wednesday launched its generic versions of flu drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir in the local market. These drugs prescribed for the treatment of bird flu as well as A/H1N1 influenza are currently patented and sold by foreign drug makers F Hoffman La Roche Ltd as Tamiflu, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc as Relenza, respectively, in most of the global markets.

Cipla’s oseltamivir, branded as Antiflu, is priced at Rs475 for 10 tablets. Its zanamivir inhaler, branded as Virenza, will cost Rs800 for a 10-dose device.

Cipla’s drugs have also been pre-qualified by the World Health Organization.

The drug maker has offered to supply its A/H1N1 influenza drug, to the US, chairman and managing director Y.K. Hamied said on Wednesday.

Patents protection for Roche’s Tamiflu in the US and Europe has not allowed Cipla to sell its generic version in these two geographies, he added.


Sanofi-Aventis initiates largest diabetes-hypertension study in India

Mumbai: French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis has initiated India’s largest study on the epidemics of diabetes and hypertension called SITE (Screening India’s Twin Epidemic) involving 10 states and 20,000 people. The results of first phase of the study conducted in Maharashtra involving 1,842 people located in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur showed that many did not even know they had either diabetes or hypertension. A Sanofi statement on Wednesday said it aims to make people aware that it is important to know their level of diabetes and hypertension. Patients must proactively ask doctors to check whether their diabetes is below 7 or if their blood pressure is in control, which will help doctors to help them better manage their diseases, the release said.

SITE will help provide medical professionals with data analysis of the twin epidemic “ diabetes and hypertension from such a large sample size.

— C.H. Unnikrishnan