Call for joint efforts to produce medicines

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Manipal, Karnataka, Feb 24 (UNI) The pharmaceutical companies around the globe should work out a business model to produce more medicines at a lower investment risk, said Janssen Pharmaceutica N V Beerse (Belgium) CMD Ajit S Shetty said.

Speaking after being conferred with an Honourary Doctorate by the Manipal University he said ''unlike the old model of doing researches in 'secret' behind the closed walls of their firms, the future model should be one of transparency.'' In the new model, pharmaceutical companies should be specialised in some core domains. Simultaneouly, they must create and maintain a network of innovation with external partners in research, production, sales and general services.

The companies should have 'much more' open culture and structure to work with select business partners and universities across the globe, he added.

Since various governments are key stakeholders and clients, they need to play a vital role in determining the healthcare priorities.

Dr Shetty said the cost related to R and D for new medicines had been rising alarmingly in the past decade. The full cost of bringing a new drug to the market was now over one billion Dollar whereas the healthcare insurance budgets on the other hand were under serious pressure.

He said in India, by 2030, transmitted diseases were expected to account for only 21 per cent of deaths as against 36 per cent today, sounding a major shift in treatment and healthcare provision.

According to World Health Organisation, we have therapies for only 6,000 of the 30,000 known diseases. On the other hand, in the mid 90s, over 80 new medicines were approved each year and in 2007, only 16 new molecular entities were approved, the lowest number in decades, he added.

Dr Ramdas M Pai, the president of Manipal University, who presided over the function, conferred the Doctorate on Dr Shetty.

UNI MA JJ MIR BST2253

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