March 23rd, 2012
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Roche to cut prices of cancer drugs in India

rocheNew Delhi: Roche, Swiss global health-care company, has decided to cut the price of two expensive cancer drugs in India from 2013. This development comes right after India permitted Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell a generic version of German drugmaker Bayer’s Nexavar, a liver and kidney cancer drug at a price over 30 times lower its patent-holder Bayer Corporation. Roche states that it is part of their efforts to strengthen their position amid rising competition from generic drug makers.

“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 reported.

Tuygan Goeker, head of Middle East and Asian markets at Roche, said that named the cost of the drugs Herceptin and Mabthera would be reduced from their current wholesale price of about $3,000 to $4,500 a month per patient. He however has not made any official statement regarding the new price of the drugs. The drugs shall be renamed and packed locally by Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd in an effort to gain market share. According to the daily, by giving the drugs new names in India, Roche hopes to avoid losing pricing power elsewhere.


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