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Friday, Aug 16
India considers a change to its Foreign-Investment rule to protect its domestic drug industry
- The Indian government is considering a change to its foreign investment rules for pharmaceutical companies in order to protect the country's supply of cheap, lifesaving drugs.
- In July, it froze Mylan's (MYL) proposed acquisition of Indian drugmaker Agila Specialties, over concern that its drugs would be exported to more lucrative markets abroad and reduce the domestic supply.
- "There are some concerns, particularly in regard to oncology," says India's trade minister Anand Sharma, noting that India wants to ensure that foreign companies don't limit the country's domestic supply of affordable cancer drugs.
- The government also worries that acquisitions could grant foreign companies control over the local industry, making it difficult for it to control prices.
- Sharma also voiced concern that if foreign companies did acquire Indian firms, they could refuse to produce cheap generics.
- Foreign companies have already invested $1.1B in India's pharmaceutical industry over the last fiscal year ended March 31.