2012 yearender: Drug prices, takeover of Indian cos remained govt focus

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Government eventually cleared the new National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy-2012. (Reuters) Government eventually cleared the new National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy-2012. (Reuters)
SummaryGovernment eventually cleared the new National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy-2012.

January to resolve issues related to

violation of manufacturing norms with the US Food and Drug Administration.

It was allowed to sell its generic version of cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor in the US and raked in close to USD 600 million. But happy days didn't last long as by the end of the year it had to stop production of the blockbuster drug and make a voluntary recall of certain lots of the drug from the market due to contamination.

The year also saw Indian drug maker Cipla slashing prices of its generic drugs, used in treating cancers of brain, lung and kidney by up to 76 per cent. Later, it also slashed prices of three generic cancer drugs -- Erlocip, Docetax and Capegard -- by up to 64 per cent.

The drug major also came out with an offer of USD 220 million (over Rs 1,200 crore) to acquire 51 per cent stake in South African firm Cipla Medpro.

Another Indian drug major, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries came out with an offer to buy Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals' US-based generics subsidiary URL Pharma, through its arm Caraco Pharma.

For the healthcare sector, 2012 turned out to be a period of expansion as it remained largely immune to the global economic slowdown.

Apollo Hospitals outlined its strategy for the year with plans to add 1,000 beds by the end of the 2012-2013. On the other hand Fortis Healthcare announced setting up of a 1,000 beds multi-speciality facility at an investment of Rs 450 crore. It will be operational in the next 2-3 years.

In July as part of strengthening its presence in the Singapore healthcare space, Fortis had opened a SGD 70 million (nearly Rs 308 crore) super speciality cancer hospital. Fortis sponsored Religare Health Trust (RHT) raised nearly SGD 510.7 million (about Rs 2,260 crore) by listing its units on the Singapore Exchange during the year.

Towards the end of the year, Fortis also announced that it would divest 64 per cent stake in Dental Corporation Holdings (DC), Australia to Bupa for 270 million Australian dollar (around Rs 1,554.36 crore) by March 2013.

Another major player, Max Healthcare also

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