The government needs to have a compulsive licensing system for essential drugs and look at locally manufacturing non-patented medicines, Cipla chairman Y K Hamied said Wednesday.
“For healthcare what India requires is a pragmatic compulsive licensing system. My own reading is what the government should do is to formalise what are the drugs that are priority for India, which we Indians can’t do (produce). A big example is a drug for TB (Bedaquiline),” he said.
“If India requires something, the government should ask such foreign companies give us your products and we are willing to pay you a royalty…Those drugs which are essential to India, the government should step in and ask for a voluntary license and give a royalty.” he added.
The industry doyen pointed out that 70 percent of the major drugs are in-licensed and it is what India should look to do.
“It is what India should ask, in-license and pay royalty. Science has to be rewarded not denied particularly in a country like ours with 1.35 billion people, you cannot afford a monopoly. I have never been against patents, I have been against monopoly,” he said.
He added that many drugs which are not covered under patent should be made in India which is not happening at present, citing example of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Vitamin C.
“What are the incentives the government wants to give because I can’t compete in pricing with China. So my whole idea on this system of older drugs not made in India is that the government must have a very pragmatic policy that even if China is cheaper we should still make in India. We have to be self reliant and self sufficient,” he said.
The Octogenarian launched the inspirational science programme with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) in India and donated Rs 8.7 crore for the same.
His inspirational chemistry programme in association with RSC which was launched in 2014, where we had donated Rs 8 crore, has helped deliver more than 1,000 training workshops to over 23,000 teachers between 2014 and the end of 2018, with more than 9,000 schools across the 26 states.
He added that his next step with RSC is how to get in new technology into India to make some of the older drugs that is not presently being manufactured.