"Hurdles' at hospitals still hard for Indian pharma companies

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Indian pharmaceutical companies have been doing good business in Vietnam but they say there are still "˜hurdles' at public hospitals, according to speakers at seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday.

Addressing the meeting called "Indian Pharma Outlook 2011", held by Indian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Incham), Kailash Uday Patki from Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited said India was the third largest manufacturer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API).

"India is also the third largest producers of pharmaceuticals by volume (about 10 percent of global pharma production) and the largest exporter of generic medicines in the world."

Patki said that with affordable quality generics and access to advanced molecules at affordable prices, Indian pharmaceutical companies can provide lots of medicines to the Vietnamese market.

Yet Patki said it is still hard for Indian medicines to reach more patients "because of hurdles in public hospitals."

Indian pharma companies said one of the biggest barriers for them is that their products are ranked fourth on a list of imported medicines in Vietnam, although they are as good as medicines from the US or Europe.

"I would like to request Vietnamese government officials to let them [Indian pharma businesses] pass quality products to a larger number of Vietnamese people," said Patki.

Responding to the statement, Director of the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City Pham Viet Thanh thanked Indian pharmaceuticals for their big contributions so far.

Thanh said he hoped Indian pharma companies will continue to make contributions to help ensure stability on the medicine market in Vietnam.

Thanh said he also hoped to see more cooperation from Indian businesses for better health care for Vietnamese people, especially those living in poverty.

Thanh thanked the Indian pharma companies again and added that it is important to comply with legal regulations.

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