The networks are awash with news of multinational pharmaceutical and biotech companies investing significant amounts to boost their presence and commercial operations in China. Its all good news but little is said about the experience of companies currently in the market. This story covers the challenges Indian generic pharmaceutical companies face and possibly points to a generalized concern.
Indian pharmaceutical companies may have spread their wings far and wide, but they have been hitting the wall in China. India's largest pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy Laboratories was the first to set up a joint venture in China in 1993, but divested its stake in in December last year even though it spent millions of rupees and launched over 40 products. Reason: Strong barriers for market access, longer time to build commercial infrastructure and difficulty in competing with Chinese players on cost. Satish Reddy, managing director and chief operating officer (COO) of Dr Reddy's Laboratories, India's second largest drug maker, says "the Chinese market historically has been challenging for global generics players as well as mid-sized foreign pharma companies." So, the Indian pharmaceutical companies, which aggressively tapped various global drug markets in the past two decades, have not been able to crack the Chinese drug market with their finished drugs so far. This is despite the fact that China's drug market grew over three times in the last seven years and is predicted to become the world's third largest after the US and Japan within two-three years.
Source: Business Standard