Indian drug firms eye 'paper tiger' status at home, clinical opportunities abroad

Many of the largest pharmaceutical firms operating in India are contemplating becoming "paper tigers," existing there only on paper, with facilities moved to other countries. Regulatory delays get the blame.

Several insiders said the primary regulatory problem in India was its handling of clinical trials in addition to marketing approvals.

Apeejay Stya Education Research Foundation president Aditya Berlia

The head of the Apeejay Stya Education Research Foundation told the Financial Express some of the top drug companies plan to relocate their production, research, offices and other facilities to other countries while maintaining an Indian presence only on paper.

Some insiders pointed to Biocon, a long-time India biotech and India's largest producer of insulin. Biocon has invested more than $160 million in research and production facilities across the Bay of Bengal in Malaysia. Others are said to be looking to Thailand and the United Arab Emirates in addition to Malaysia.

One industry executive eyeing the UAE said that as long as an India pharma does not sell its products in India, the company has no lengthy India regulations to deal with.

- here's the story from the Financial Express