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Roche tries a different tack

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If Roche is trying to avoid the litigous line that Novartis has taken in the wars over pricing of drugs, the reason is completely clear from the graphic alongside. WSJ reports:

Growth in the Indian pharamceuticals market
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 move marks a shift for the Swiss drug maker, which long has argued that consumers everywhere should pay the same price for its medications. By giving the drugs new names in India, Roche hopes to avoid losing pricing power elsewhere, though it isn’t clear the company will succeed on that score.

The arrangement involves Herceptin and Mabthera, the wholesale costs of which are about $3,000 to $4,500 a month per patient. Tuygan Goeker, head of Middle East and Asian markets at Roche, said the prices would be cut in India starting next year, though he declined to say by how much. By offering lower-priced versions, Roche also aims to avoid being compelled under Indian law to allow generic-drug makers to produce less-expensive copies.

Roche is cutting the price of two expensive cancer drugs in India. The Swiss pharmaceutical wants to gain market share and avoid competition from generic drugs in the fast-growing economy.

The drugs will be packaged locally by India-based Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Mr. Goeker said. Roche is hoping the new names, which haven’t been revealed and are subject to Indian approval, will prevent wholesalers from buying the Indian product and reselling it at a profit in other markets, where the new brand names won’t be licensed for sale, he said.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

March 25, 2012 at 4:51 am

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