Worried India eyes more drug-price controls

Lately in India, pharma types have been debating the encroachment of Big Pharma. As multinational drugmakers snap up some Indian companies and make supply and licensing deals with others, there's been a growing fear on the subcontinent. Namely, that outside influence will boost drug prices, making products inaccessible to many Indians.

We've reported on some of the controversy, such as calls for restrictions on foreign investment in the drug industry. But one of the government's proposals for dealing with the prospect of undue Big Pharma influence is a bit more direct--and more common. It's drug-price regulation.

According to the PharmaTimes, a recent government report suggests that more newly patented drugs need to be brought under the control of India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority. Another proposal: "[C]apping profit margins for all medicines."

Whether any of these proposals will come to pass remains to be seen. But it's clear that, if big drugmakers want to continue their push into the Indian market, they need to do something to quell Indian anxieties. The last thing that a promising market needs is a knee-jerk defense against Big Pharma, which could extinguish long-sought patent protections.

- read the PharmaTimes piece