Sunday, May 29, 2011

Who is able to manufacture generic drugs

India holds a special place in pharmaceutical industry of the world, especially in production of generic drugs. But there are many other countries, which produce different kinds of medications, both generics and licensed ones. The second place after India (may be now even the first place) is taken by China. Suffice it to say that China and India together provide 70-80% of all European consumption of active ingredients for all kinds of drugs. A great advantage of China, as well as of India, is Chinese patent laws, or rather the fact that expired patents of Western companies have not been extended for another term like, for example in USA. So, many active ingredients, which are still legally protected in the West, have become a public domain in China, also on the strict legal basis. It must be said that both India and China have to shorten time of patent protection for medications because otherwise these countries cannot provide drugs for their numerous population at reasonable prices. Since the population of both countries is extremely poor, drug prices have to be as low as possible, but royalties make the greatest part of price for patented drugs in the West. Because of low prices for drugs, Chinese pharmaceutical market accounts for only 1.5 - 2.1% of world pharmaceutical market, though the China’s population accounts for about 19,4% of world’s one (year 2011). Indian part in the world population is about 17.5% in 2011.

Europe has its own well-developed pharmaceutical industry. Though European Union tends to unify patent and intellectual laws of different countries, the national laws of the countries inside European Union and especially outside of it differ between themselves and from US laws. That situation allows some European companies to produce drugs, the term of patent protection of which has not been expired, let’s say, in USA. The USA is mentioned since their pharmaceutical market is the biggest one and most research and development has been made in this country. Accordingly, the most patents in pharmacy and medicine belong to American companies or citizens.

As examples of European companies that produce generics we can mention Deva, Sanovel, Actavis, Eczacibasi Zentiva – all four from Turkey, Actavis Group from Island, KrKa from Slovenia, Ratiopharm from Germany.

To European companies I would ascribe the Israeli Teva company, since the most of Israeli citizens have European origin, European culture and European educational background.

Arabian pharmacy is less developed and generally imports drugs from other countries. Nevertheless Syrian company Asia Pharmaceutical Industries and Egyptian company Eva Pharma should be mentioned as local generic drug manufacturers.

Latin America has great economic potential. Giant Brazil whose population is about 190 millions people has quite well developed pharmaceutical industry which carries out its own research and development. That fact allows making their own active ingredient and easily assimilating imported manufacturing methods. Such companies as EMS, Ache, Euro-
Farma, Fiocruz and Butantan are the pride of Brazilian pharmaceutical industry and produce wide range of medications both for domestic market and for export.

But even such small countries as Bolivia in Latin America have their own pharmaceutical business. Bolivian company Romer Franco Quimfa Bolivia S.A. is quite well known for its generic Viagra (Sildenafil) sold under the name of Pramil.

Russian pharmaceutical industry is quite weak in the present time due to destroying consequences of economical and political reforms generally known as Perestroika. Suffice it to say that only about 15.3% (data as of year 2008) of consumed active ingredients (that is about 1800 metric tons per year) has been produced by Russian factories. All other active ingredients have been imported, mainly from India, China and Germany. Russia does not export significant amounts of drugs (about tiny 0.03% of world drug market), though the Russian government takes measures to increase export sales of Russian medications. But now we cannot find generics made in Russia and I doubt we will find them in the near future.