30 Jun, 2014 11:28 IST
Indian Drug Cos To Counter MNC Pharma Lobby In US
India First Group assists US cos pursuing business opportunities in India, and supports Indian cos
P B Jayakumar
The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), a grouping of leading Indian generic drug makers, has roped in India First Group LLC, a strategic advisory firm based in Washington, to counter negative advocacy campaigns against India's generic manufacturers. India First Group is tasked to mobilise the ‘Coalition for Affordable Care’, a grouping of like-minded constituents in the US who support access to low cost, high quality generic medicines.
The initiative will be led by former US-India Business Council president, Ron Somers. India First Group assists US companies pursuing business opportunities in India, and supports Indian companies investing in the United States.
“The time has come to let the truth be known on Capitol Hill, in the halls of government, and across America, that Indian and US manufacturers of generic drugs are producing high quality medicines at a fraction of the price of branded pharmaceuticals”, said Ron Somers.
“The IPA is perhaps the first association, after NASSCOM, to engage with a Washington based group to take on the big and mighty pharma lobby”, said DG Shah, secretary general of Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA).
Following the Ranbaxy units ban by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for poor quality standards and similar actions against about five Indian companies, active campaigns are going in the US, raising concerns on quality of generic drugs especially from India.
“Forces backed by Big Pharma, including the most powerful special interest business lobby in the United States, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) , chaired by Pfizer’s Ian Reid, the Global Intellectual Property Center of the US Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers, continue their campaign to downgrade the reputation of Indian pharmaceuticals in order to maintain market share and destroy competition”, said a press release from India First Group.
During 2012-13, drug exports from India to the US were $4.23 billion and the US accounts for about 25 per cent of India’s drug exports. India provides about 40 per cent of the generic and over-the-counter drugs consumed in the US.