5:16 pm - Thursday May 23, 1878

Cipla chief Yusuf Hamied stands up against drug monopoly

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Cipla chairman Yusuf Hamied, who has long battled global pharmaceutical majors to ensure that developing countries have access to life-saving drugs, has said that a pricecontrol mechanism is required in India for essential medicines sold under a monopoly. “The right to live should not be contingent on the ability to pay. Lives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of corporate profit and greed,” Hamied said.

Acknowledging that inventors of new drugs produced to tackle HIV/ AIDS, cancer and hepatitis should be rewarded for their work , Hamied insisted that Western pharmaceutical majors should not be allowed to patent “frivolous inventions”. ” A price control system is needed ( in India) for monopoly drugs. … If a drug is essential, it shouldn’t be sold under a monopoly. Indian companies are not willfully violating the law,” he said at an event organised by the external affairs ministry to highlight the problem of access to lifesaving drugs in developing countries.

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