Financial Express | June 14, 2008
Ranbaxy deal may help India’s entry into Japan
New Delhi, Jun 13 — The Daiichi Sankyo-Ranbaxy Laboratories deal has come as a shot in the arm for India’s Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA) negotiations with Japan. Indian pharma companies have been unable to break into Japan, the world’s second largest drug market, due to the country’s stringent sanitary and phytosanitary standards, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and environmental norms.
"The acquisition of Ranbaxy is arecognition of the quality of Indian drug and other pharma products bytheir Japanese counterparts. Before signing the CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement), we will now aggressively push the case of our pharma sector as well as that of the chemicals, bio-tech and cosmetics sectors to ensure that Japan agrees to opening up their market for these products," a government official told FE.
Since the current Japanese standards on drugs and other pharmaceuticals products are higher than the accepted international standards, it amounts to a non-tariff barrier, the officialofficial added. India will ask Japan to bring their national standards to international levels and also ensure that there is a harmonization of SPS and TBT standards of both countries.
The government is, however, seeing the Ranbaxy deal as a bigger opportunity apart from getting a foothold in the $65 billion pharma market. In a bid to pave the way for the entry of Indian health industry into Japan, New Delhi would also pitch for relaxing the norms for movement of doctors, nurse and other health professionals from India to Japan.
Indian industry sees Japan’s drug approval procedures as stricter and time-consuming. Besides, it is also mandatory to get such products are tested in Japan itself as they do not accept products tested outside that country.
India would now demand that if the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has given approval to a drug, Japan must also allow it without any further testing. The government is also keeping a close watch on the deal’s impact on the Indian pharma market and if it would result in costlier drugs entering the country.