A Tale of Two Drugs

April 29, 2009

Spot the difference…

Right, first up, from Reuters:

A Roche spokeswoman said governments had contacted Roche about new orders since the outbreak but could not quantify them.

Roche said on Monday it was working on scaling up production of Tamiflu, but cautioned that the lead time for the drug from synthesis of the product to packaging was eight months.

And…

Indian drug manufacturer Cipla said Tuesday it could supply 1.5 million doses of an antiviral copycat to fight the international swine flu outbreak.

“We have about 1.5 million doses. It will take about four to six weeks to start the process of converting them into capsule form and put them on the market,” chief executive and joint managing director Amar Lulla told AFP.

And which firm is working “closely with the World Health Organization to make its…drug available to patients following the outbreak of swine flu”??

More on Cipla from Wiki:

Because Indian law from 1972 has allowed no (end-product) patents on drugs, and provided for compulsory licensing, Cipla was able to manufacture medicines which enjoy patent monopoly in certain other countries (particularly those where large, multinational pharmaceutical companies are based). By doing so, as well as by making an executive decision not to make profits on AIDS medication, Cipla reduced the cost of providing antiretrovirals to AIDS patients from $12,000 and beyond (monopoly prices charged by international pharma conglomerates) down to around $300 per year. Today they are able to do so for under $150 per patient per year. While this sum remains out of reach for many millions of people in Third World countries, government and charitable sources often are in a position to make up the difference for destitute patients.

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One Response to “A Tale of Two Drugs”


  1. […] As mentioned before on this blog, plucky little Cipla, who can produce the same drugs quicker and at a fraction of the price, have been roundly ignored. […]


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