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Roche to slash prices of expensive cancer drugs in India

Last Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 17:40

New York: Global pharma major Roche is all set to slash the price of two expensive cancer drugs in India, as part of efforts to strengthen its position amid rising competition from generic drug makers, says a media report.

"Roche Holding AG is cutting the price of two expensive cancer drugs in India and giving them new names in an effort to gain market share and avoid competition from generic drugs in the fast-growing economy," the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Roche head of Middle East and Asian markets Tuygan Goeker told the daily that the prices would be cut in India starting next year.

The development comes close on the heels of India permitting Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell cancer treatment drug Nexavar at a price over 30 times lower than charged by its patent-holder Bayer Corporation.

According to the daily, by giving the drugs new names in India, Roche hopes to avoid losing pricing power elsewhere.

"The arrangement involves Herceptin and Mabthera, the wholesale costs of which are about USD 3,000 to USD 4,500 a month per patient," the report said.

It noted that by offering lower-priced versions, Roche also aims to avoid being compelled under Indian law to allow generic-drug makers to produce less-expensive copies.

Goeker said the drugs would be packaged locally by India-based Emcure Pharmaceuticals.


First Published: Friday, March 23, 2012 - 17:40
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