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      Eli Lilly eyes local tie-ups to pump funds into India

      Posted AtThe Economic Times

      Pharma major Eli Lilly is negotiating with some domestic pharma companies for strategic investments and is expected to finalise plans by early '06. It is also lining up some major new product launches in India by '08-09.

      Eli Lilly's strategic consultant for the intercontinental region, Richard A Smith, told ET, "Even though we have been registering high double-digit growth in India, it will take some more time for it to become a strategic country for us. That will only happen when the Indian bureaucracy takes stock of the intellectual property rights."

      Lilly is already outsourcing drugs from India to meet its international requirements and might expand business on that front. "We are looking forward to more such opportunities to expand our drug production base in the coming year," Mr Smith said.

      Talking about the company's investment plans Mr Smith said, "We are looking for partners to be able to invest in India." He, however, refused to divulge any details about the investment plans.

      He said India and China are important markets for Lilly, not only because of the disposable income but also because of their huge population.

      "Cancer, AIDS and such diseases force us to come up with innovative products. But it's difficult to introduce them in India as something needs to be done about the intellectual property rights," he added.

      When asked about his expectations from the India Economic Summit he said, "I'm not here for any networking. I'm here to hear what the Indian politicians say about the government policies in public. That is what interests me."

      November 30, 2005


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