Indian drug firms sell big, spend little: official

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Indian pharmaceutical firms are dominating the local drug market without establishing manufacturing plants in Vietnam, a health official said Monday.

Of the 545 foreign companies in the pharmaceutical industry, 23.5 percent are Indian firms. Together, they sell more than 4,500 products, accounting for 37.8 percent of medicine registered in Vietnam, Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City.

Despite their major share of the market, Indian companies have not established any manufacturing facilities inside the country, Quang said.

Only one Indian pharmaceutical firm has invested in the country so far, but the factory has already been sold to a local company, he noted.

At the conference, entitled "Existing and future prospects of Vietnam's pharmaceutical industry," Quang raised the issue of low quality Indian pharmaceuticals. He said Indian drugs accounted for 50-80 percent of products that violated quality and marketing regulations.

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