The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Roche comes back in Taksal Pharma phial

Mumbai, Nov. 4: Roche Scientific Company (India) is making a foray independently in the country after sniping its 10-year old agreement with Nicholas Piramal.

Roche plans to enlist its Indian subsidiary in the coming months to undertake clinical trials and market life saving drugs through Taksal Pharma Pvt Ltd, the new distributor of the company in the country.

The company said it has dropped the prices of several life saving drugs in existing therapies like Xeloda, Mabthera, Cellcept by around 25 per cent.

The company said till date it has sold therapies worth more than 35 million Swiss francs in the oncology, virology, transplantation and general pharma segments, including osteoporosis and epilepsy.

Managing director of the Indian subsidiary G L Telang said, “Our decision to invest in the country and reduce the drug prices reflects Roche's commitment to the Indian healthcare community and research.”

The Swiss pharma giant plans to invest 10 million Swiss francs in the country in 2004-05.

The company that owns the Saridon brand and other leading over-the-counter drugs said the main objective of initiating global trials in India is the large pool of clinical experience available in the country.

Roche will also look at sourcing its global needs from India. Around $50 billion worth of drugs worldwide will be off-patents after 2008.

Roche is keen on visiting India to expand in-licensing and outsourcing.

In November 2003, the distribution rights of Nicholas Piramal India for Roche's biotech range, including Cellcept, Zenapax, Cymevene, Mabthera and Xeloda, will cease. Nicholas Piramal will not distribute any new Roche products.

With the independent distribution rights, Roche hopes to make its products available to domestic patients.

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