US-based Merck has received patent approval from the Indian Patent Office for two of its upcoming drugs for dyslipidemia and obesity. The two new patented drugs are in final stages of trial and are yet to receive the Drug Controller General of India’s (DCGI) approval.
Merck, till recently, had just one patent approval in India for its $770-million anti-diabetes drug Januvia. However, the $24.2-billion company now plans to aggressively file patents and have a localized pricing strategy for such drugs in the Indian market.
The company plans to get at least a 4% market share in India and thereby emerge as one the top five players in the country by 2015. The company’s right-pricing strategy will entail a review of existing therapeutic alternatives for the patented drug and even taking the view of doctors and patients.
Analysts feel Merck’s approach towards launching patented drugs at a much lower cost in India than their global price may mark a differential pricing system for such drugs in India. Apart from the dyslipidimia and obesity drugs, Merck has plans to roll out two vaccines in India—a cervical cancer vaccine and rotavirus vaccine. It’s current product portfolio has five drugs in India. The company is also planning to initiate disease management programmes in India to increase awareness and better drug compliance among patients.