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Will not invest in R&D: Novartis

Will not invest in R&D: Novartis
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Mumbai (PTI): Swiss pharma major Novartis on Monday said it will not invest on research and development (R&D) in India and move research facilities to...

bussMumbai (PTI): Swiss pharma major Novartis on Monday said it will not invest on research and development (R&D) in India and move research facilities to favourable destinations following the Supreme Court order rejecting its patent plea on cancer drug Glivec. However, the company will continue to introduce products in the country, Novartis India Ltd Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Ranjit Shahani said at a press conference in Mumbai. Novartis will move R&D investments to favourable destinations, he added. Shahani said the company will, however, keep filing patent applications for innovative products and continue to invest in India "but cautiously". While a one-month dose of Glivec costs around Rs 1.2 lakh, the generic drugs manufactured by Indian companies for the same period are priced just Rs 8,000.A Over 9 out of 10 patients currently taking Glivec in India will continue to receive drug free of charges through Novartis oncology access programme, he claimed. "Novartis remains committed to patients and access to medicine. Through its full donation programme, Novartis provides Glivec free of cost to 95 per cent of patients prescribed the drug here. So far we have offered this drug to over 16,000 patients free of cost," the company said, adding that the remaining 5 per cent are either reimbursed, insured, or participate in a very generous co-pay programme. Since Novartis began its first donation programme in 2002, the company has provided more than $1.7 billion worth of Glivec to patents in India, he said. Pharma stocks rally after verdictA Pharmaceutical stocks surged 2 to5 per cent on Monday, after the Supreme Court dismissed Novartis's plea. Novartis India Ltd slipped to its 52-week low of `558.10 after the verdict. The stock recouped most of its losses of nearly 7 per cent and finally closed 1.8 per cent lower to Rs 587.95. Stocks like Cipla and DRL ended with gains of over 2 per cent as compared to 0.15 per cent rise in the benchmark index. Cipla closed 1.2 per cent higher at Rs 384.30 while Dr Reddy's surged 3.34 per cent to close at Rs 1825.30. According to analysts, it is a welcome decision for Indian generic companies like Cipla, Natco Pharma and Ranbaxy Labs. However, it is unlikely to have any material impact on the financials of any of these companies as both the patent drug and the generic drugs are being already sold in the country. However, Natco Pharma, DRL, Ranbaxy Labs and Cipla are the stocks to be watched in the Indian pharma space.
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