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      Norwegian govt looking for cheap generics from India

      Posted AtPharmaBiz

      Norwegian government is looking at India for cheaper generics supply. The country which has a large ageing population and a restricted health budget needs low cost drugs in the areas of cancer, cardiac disorders and pulmonary infectious diseases.

      In his presentation on the final day at the 57th IPC held at Hyderabad, Dr. Vinod Mishra, representing the Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet, University Hospital, Oslo, Norway provided an overview of the opportunities for Indian pharmaceutical companies in Norway. He stated that Indian companies with EMEA approvals have all the chances for entering into a trade alliance with Norway. So far Indian companies have been only looking at Germany and Sweden for pharmaceutical exports.

      Norway which has a population of 4.6 million has all its heath services connected with hospitals only. Hence Indian companies engaged in hospital supplies with the European Union can capitalise on the opportunity. The country is looking for cheap generic options only because average health care costs per patient are as high as $6,000. Moreover, the pharmacists in Norway are encouraged to dispense cheaper generics to patients. Another advantage is that there are no pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Norway because of the seven-month long cold climatic conditions and hence all drugs are imported.

      "Even if the market is small in Norway, there is scope for Indian companies as India is known for its strengths in generics. Norway is keen to grab cost-effective drugs from India. Although Norway is not a part of the European Union, it follows EU application processes," stated Dr. Mishra.

      He also stated that with regard to price, the country will look at the lowest options and compare rates with those of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Germany. However this should not deter India which already has a minuscule share of 1 per cent of pharma exports to the region compared to Malaysia's 2 per cent.

      "If the pharmaceutical units in South East Asian countries have a presence in Norway, then India companies should gear up to tap the opportunities as the market is lucrative," Dr. Mishra informed.

      There is no scope for pharmacy graduates from India in the region because the country demands Scandinavian education system and the government policies encourage employment of locals only. Hence unemployment rate in Norway is only 4 per cent.

      Other opportunities include contract manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients. The country is also known for its large pharmaceutical research workforce whose services can be utilised by Indian companies for collaborative a research programmes.

      December 07, 2005


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