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Weekend Links: Education, Recalls, M&A

Before getting too wrapped up (pun intended!) with holiday fun and festivities, we have a few a little more information to share. It's going to take more than a jolly man in a red suit to tear me away from sharing information about all of the exciting overseas happenings.

The smells currently wafting out of the kitchen might give me a run for my money though... But as we said last week, it's easy to work when you enjoy what you do.

Oftentimes, it is exciting to see momentum building under the surface. This is especially true in Karnataka, which is known as the knowledge state of India, as it has over 200 universities! Yesterday, the state minister for higher education, Dr. V.S. Acharya, reassured attendees at the 62nd Indian Pharmaceutical Congress that India will continue to improve the emphasis, and pay scale, of pharmacists and other industry professionals within India.

On a slightly less enthusiastic note, Ranbaxy is forced to recall three batches of anti-cholesterol tablets Pravastatin. The recall is due to a failure to update information pamphlets that were deemed critical by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Finally, there is a thorough review of annual M&A activity, which sees life science companies poised to expand their already firm reach into attractive emerging (emerged?) markets. The Indian market still has over 10,000 small companies vying for 70% of market share; inevitably, much consolidation remains to be done. Some concerns remain about the access to affordable health care and medicine, given the nature of the acquisitions stakeholders (big pharma, namely). But nevertheless, consensus is that growth prospects remain strong. And the aforementioned article provides a number of complementary predictions about the size of the budding Indian pharmaceutical market that are nothing short of exciting.

I will spend the rest of the weekend preparing our follow-up telephone interview with Dr. Alok Kumar (you can see the original here). It was an intriguing conversation that delved deeply into topics that prior respondents identified as mission critical for their BRIC initiatives. This includes the intricacies of what it takes to be successful (read: profitable) in a domestic product launch, as well as differences between pharmaceutical opportunities in India and China, not to mention a myriad other important issues. Stay tuned for this. It will be posted early next week.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. We appreciate it. And wish you a happy, safe, holiday season!

Posted by Jeff


India: Global Economic Bright Spot

Here is another timely IMF video about the opportunity for growth in India, as well as potential drawbacks in the short -term. In the longer term, the upside looks robust and encouraging for India as well as all other global markets.

Posted by Jeff


Pharmaceutical NGram?

Trends vs. Time

If you haven't checked out the new Google NGram Viewer you are missing out. There a good description of the project here.

It's interesting stuff, no doubt. We've only just started experimenting...

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Is Singapore the new Mumbai?

What happens when the task you have outsourced is outsourced again? In our own research, respondents often identified rising costs in India as a concern. This video quickly zeroes in on the problem, and a possible solution?

Posted by Jeff



We are stock market enthusiasts, true value investors. The same principles apply to information and markets as they do to equities. It's all quite related, you see. In both cases, we use fundamentals to build our thesis.

It's not easy though. Sometimes, we get caught up in the day-to-day news. We lose sight of the forest, for the trees. A particularly pointed headline causes a knee-jerk reaction. But we must remember to stay true to the plan.

Fundamentals are what drive strategic decisions. We do our best to mitigate technical and logistical fluctuations. But as long as the fundamentals remain sound, we typically stick out the course of any pending storm. And earn impressive ROI, slightly thereafter, no less.

On the tone of market fundamentals for India, here is a very recent and in depth video summary by the IMF. It offers good commentary from insightful and reputable speakers that touch on a number of the significant growth drivers, and nuances of the economy.

Posted by Jeff


China and India: Memorandum of Understanding

"The collaboration between the two will give an edge over the developed countries. Together we can meet the generic drug requirements of the world"

Indian Drug Manufacturer's Association Secretary General, Daara Patel

We were hoping something like this would happen! A mutual recognition of strengths has both of these giant markets poised for future success. India and China have agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding January 7, 2011 in Mumbai that will facilitate growth of the $3 billion dollar plus pharmaceutical and medical device trade volume already  this year.

I hope you can understand how genuinely excited we are. Collaboration on a global scale is incredibly important to us. It's essential to the effective dissemination of knowledge. We can often learn the most from those we don't know.

Posted by Jeff


Monumental Collaboration?

We prepared you for the developments, yesterday evening.

It's exciting then, to see China and India looking to collaborate and leverage their strengths: API and formulation production, respectively.

Many of our survey respondents are unsure which emerging market deserves the most attention, given their limited resources. Well, it looks like now we might not have to play the "either/or" game, how exciting!

Enjoy your afternoon, we'll be back with more news soon.

Posted by Jeff


Innovation Theatre

Not everything we do need be about clinical trials or effective outsourcing agreements.

There are more important things.

There are fundamental principals that underscore why we do business.

I could go on, but you would be much better off to open your mind to something new, and watch this TED talk.

Here's the teaser:

"TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation..."

Posted by Jeff


After Hours Activities

Given tomorrow's big visit, and amidst all the questions and comparisons between India and China, this article proves timely and insightful. It's encouraging to see a focus on trade developing, as the two colossal markets try their best to get comfortable in a sea of shifting economic tides. The look into what products are exchanged between the two countries is telling, as well.

While it is touched on here that a free trade agreement might not be realistic at this point in time, headway is nevertheless being made. A comment by Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations, caught our interest when he mentioned that Indian pharma exports to China are hindered by an inflexible Yuan which dictates an artificial price exporters can't match, and a regulatory approval process that can take 4 times longer than most other countries.

Fierce Pharma highlights intriguing and proactive developments taken by Indian regulatory authorities.

On an unrelated note, if you haven't seen this story about the Berlin Patient, you have absolutely got to check it out. That's all for now.

Posted by Jeff


West Bengal Matters

We are doing our best to keep you up to date with the steady stream of content we find ourselves compiling. In our effort to break down barriers and empower individuals with commentary from leading experts and key opinion leaders, we will continue to improve how we select and deliver content. But back to our current attempt:

Express Pharma Online has Dr Sajal Roy Chowdhury, Director of the Directorate of Drugs Control in West Bengal, talk about the reason the area is a hotspot for national and international opportunity.

After highlighting important global figures and trends, Dr. Chowhury succinctly explores why West Bengal is particularly well-positioned to benefit from ongoing pharmaceutical investment in India, especially because of a continual increase in the rise of local purchasing power. The GMP Cell efforts to ensure global standards are also progressive.

While most of our own partners are in Delhi and Mumbai, it is encouraging to see ongoing development and investment throughout the country. And one thing remains clear in India, no matter where you are. It is a refrain we keep hearing:  serve a clearly identified need, this is imperative.

Posted by Jeff

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