The Indian populations have always prefered the generic medicines as it offers similarly composed medicines with the same outcomes but at an affordable price. Mylan being is one of the generic pharmaceutical company, BW Businessworld interacted with Rajiv Malik, President and Executive Director, Mylan to understand the pharmaceutical market and get some insights on the same.
Here is the excerpt from the interaction:
1. Globally, what is currently happening in the pharma ecosystem and what is the demand of the market?
There is a need for more and more medicines with population growth, changes in age demographics, people living longer and the spending power of the population. Innovation has kept this industry thriving, even as there are many areas such as Alzheimer’s where a lot of research still needs to be done.
The world is kind of moving away from incremental R&D innovation because this needs to be justified in terms of economics. In Europe or other countries where healthcare costs are the responsibility of the Government, we cannot easily sell incremental innovation to them. You have to make a case and justify if you want your innovative products to be valued differentially, give a rationale how that’s going to help them and why should they invest more for access – eventually that’s going to bring a qualitative shift in the type of innovation.
But at the same time, in the markets such as Asia, APAC which are big markets for generic and branded medicines, there’s always a large room for incremental products. That said, you also need to factor in how technology is intersecting in healthcare, helping identify treatment gaps and how we can bridge these.
2. What are some of the new innovations that are coming up in the market, especially in India?
In India, there are several devices - medical devices and delivery systems which are coming up. India has done a great job where generics are concerned, it is a hub today to produce generic medicine from the volume perspective. However, India has not caught up on the innovation space. Although we have many companies such as Sun Pharma, Glenmark, Dr Reddy’s and others working in this space for many years, there is not much to talk about. China is catching up in the space of innovation very fast, there are hundreds of start-ups there doing innovative research, perhaps not breakthrough yet, but they are gathering momentum.
3. Last year, Mylan partnered with Atomo Diagnostics and now with Pfizer. What has been the experience with Atomo Diagnostics and what are your expectations from your latest partnership?
Mylan has always believed in partnering with other companies as part of its strategy, as we never thought we could do on our own. Whether it was NATCO, Biocon, Pfizer’s respiratory platform that we acquired or Famycare for women’s oral contraceptives. Atomo is one such example of how Mylan wanted to get into the diagnostics space specifically in HIV.
Pfizer, on the other hand, is completely different. Pfizer is spinning off Upjohn - they call it one of their 20 iconic brands, they are spinning off this business and Mylan is merging with them as a totally new entity. It’s going to have a new name, new management. While Atomo was only a business partnership, with Pfizer, this will change the profile and demographics of the company.
4. In terms of expanding diagnosis, Mylan has developed an HIV self-test kit. When can we expect the delivery/sales of HIV self-test kit in the Indian pharmaceutical market?
Through our partnership with Atomo, the HIV self-test is about to be launched in many African countries. They will soon be coming to India too. It will go through the regular process of approval, but maybe only by 2020.
5. For growing oncology portfolio, Mylan U.S. has launched generic Fulvestrant Injection (Faslodex® Injection). What is the success rate of this injection and when it will be launched in India?
Oncology is one of the core therapeutic areas for Mylan and we have a most comprehensive basket in terms of chemotherapy agents and biosimilars. Herceptin, which is our first FDA approved biosimilar, will soon launch in the USA. It has already been launched in Europe and we have been selling it in India for two years. Avastin is another product in the oncology space that we have been selling globally. Just recently, we signed a marketing license agreement with Eisai Pharmaceuticals India to commercialize Teceris, Mylan’s second brand of the anti-cancer agent, eribulin. Teceris will be manufactured and supplied by EISAI India and marked by Mylan. This agreement is significant as it expands the access of eribulin for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
6. After Mylan’s growing commercial presence domestically, what is your future, how do you plan to expand and grow?
We are in the process of working toward the completion of the deal we recently announced to combine Mylan and Upjohn, a division of Pfizer. Upjohn and Mylan’s coming together will create a new company altogether – indeed, a new champion for global health. We will have sales in the range of 20 billion dollars, a brand-new portfolio, a much stronger balance sheet.