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CIPLA Limited
Founded 1935
Headquarters Mumbai, India
Key people Y. K. Hamied (CMD), Chairman
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Revenue Rs. 37.6 billion (~939M USD) (2006)
Net income Rs. 9.1 billion (2006)
Employees over 7,000

Cipla, originally founded by Khwaja Abdul Hamied as The Chemical, Industrial & Pharmaceutical Laboratories is a prominent Indian pharmaceutical company, best-known outside its home country for manufacturing low-cost anti-AIDS drugs for HIV-positive patients in developing countries. Cipla makes drugs to treat cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, weight control, depression and many other health conditions, and its products are distributed in more than 180 countries worldwide. [1] Among the hundreds of generic medications it produces for international distribution are atorvastatin, amlodipine, fluoxetine, venlafaxine hydrochloride and metformin.


Technology services

Cipla offers services like consulting, commissioning, engineering, project appraisal, quality control, know-how transfer, support, and plant supply.

Apart from its presence in the Indian market, Cipla also has an export market and regularly exports to more than 150 countries in regions such as North America, South American, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Australia, and Africa. For the year ended 31 March, 2007 Cipla’s exports were worth approximately Rs. 17,500 million. Cipla is also considerably well-known for its technological innovation and processes for which the company received know-how loyalties to the tune of Rs. 750 million during 2006-07[citation needed]. Cipla has been approved by regulatory bodies such as:

  • World Health Organization
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia
  • Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention (PIC), Germany
  • National Institute of Pharmacy (NIP), Hungary
  • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK government agency

Cipla has recently launched i-Pill which is a single dose emergency contraceptive and has acquired a great deal of popularity in a short span of time. Other latest launches of Cipla include products such as Nova, Moxicip, Flomex, Fullform, Montair LC, and Imicrit.

HIV/AIDS in the developing world

Today (2007), Cipla is the world's largest manufacturer of antiretroviral drugs[citation needed] (ARVs) to fight HIV/AIDS, as measured by units produced and distributed (multinational brand-name drugs are much more expensive, so in money terms Cipla medicines are probably somewhere down the list). Roughly 40% of HIV/AIDS patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy worldwide take Cipla drugs.

Indian law from 1972 until 2005 allowed no (end-product) patents on drugs, and provided for compulsory licensing, Cipla was able to manufacture medicines which enjoyed patent monopoly in certain other countries (particularly those where large, multinational pharmaceutical companies are based). By doing so, as well as by making an executive decision not to make profits on AIDS medication, Cipla reduced the cost of providing antiretrovirals to AIDS patients from $12,000 and beyond (monopoly prices charged by international pharma conglomerates) down to around $300 per year. Today they are able to do so for under $150 per patient per year. While this sum remains out of reach for many millions of people in Third World countries, government and charitable sources often are in a position to make up the difference for destitute patients.

It developed a three-in-one tablet called Triomune containing a fixed-dose combination (FDC) of three ARVs (Lamivudine, stavudine and Nevirapine), something difficult elsewhere because the three patents were held by different companies. Another popular fixed-dose combination is produced under the name Duovir-N. This contains Lamivudine, Zidovudine and Nevirapine. Cipla manufactures generic versions of many of the most commonly prescribed anti-retroviral medication in the market[2], and is a highly capable manufacturer in its own right. India is quickly becoming a global player in the pharmaceutical industry, and many of these companys' (such as Cipla) are evolving to become R & D companies and competing in the global marketplace.

Cipla is one of the first companies to register AIDS drugs under the US program PEPFAR.[3]

2007 AHF campaign

In August 2007 Cipla was confronted by a US-based group known as AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) with a well-funded campaign of full-page ads in various Indian newspapers suggesting Cipla was pricing an AIDS drug called Viraday higher in India than in Africa.[4]

In response to AIDS Healthcare Foundation's claims Cipla issued a short statement pointing out that the company had not sold a single pack of Viraday in Africa. It also underlined that Cipla sells its other AIDS drugs to the Indian government at the same prices it sells to Africa, and questioned AHF's agenda in singling out Cipla for the well-funded attack in full-page newspaper ads.[3] According to AHF and news reports, Cipla threatened a defamation lawsuit against the organization. No legal action was taken by Cipla.

On August 21, 2007 the Indian Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) announced that it would look into Cipla's pricing and claims made by AHF.[5] The MRTPC did not issue any further statements on the matter subsequently.

On September 1, 2007, The Economic Times of Delhi wrote that:

It has now emerged that Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the US-based NGO that accused Cipla of over pricing anti-AIDS drug, Viraday, in India is part funded by American anti-AIDS drug maker Gilead and the NGO's treasurer is a senior Gilead executive. This is largely the reason why foreign and Indian NGOs such as Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), Indian Network of Positive People (INP+), Sahara and others refused to be part of AHF's anti-Cipla campaign. Cipla is also the only Indian company opposing Gilead's patent application for its blockbuster anti-HIV drug Viread in India. The hearing for the patent case of Viread is due in October. ... Says a head of an NGO, who did not participate in the anti-Cipla campaign: “There is a conflict of interest in the campaign. AHF is funded by multinational pharma companies. A senior Gilead executive is one of the directors of AHF and the campaign choose to target Cipla for over pricing at a time when it is fighting Gilead's patent case in India. There is a discomfort and many civil society groups decided to stay away from the campaign.”[4]

Antiflu and Virenza

In December 2008, Cipla won a court case in India allowing it to manufacture a cheaper generic version of oseltamivir, marketed by Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) under the trade name Tamiflu, under the Cipla tradename Antiflu. In May 2009, Cipla won approval from the World Health Organization certifying that its drug Antiflu was as effective as Tamiflu, and Antiflu is included in the World Health Organization list of prequalified medicinal products.[6]

Cipla announced that Oseltamivir 75 mg capsules marketed as `Antiflu` by the company has been included in the World Health Organization (WHO) list of prequalified medicinal products (PMP).

Oseltamivir is indicated for use in the treatment of influenza A (H1N1) infection commonly known as swine flu.

Cipla also produces a generic version of zanamivir, marketed by Glaxo under the trade name Relenza, under the Cipla tradename Virenza.

The Saudi government has recently purchased stockpiles of Antiflu in preparation for the upcoming Hajj.[7]

The firm announced the launch of the drug under brand name: "antiflu" on November 11, 2009 to be sold as a category X drung, strictly under prescription. The firm has already sold 2 lakh (200,000) doses to Indian Govt.[8]

Other drugs

Cipla has a product range comprising antibiotics, anti-bacterials, anti-asthmatics, anthelmintics, anti-ulcerants, oncology, corticosteroids, nutritional supplements and cardiovascular drugs. The company has at least nine different prescription drugs registered with the US FDA[9]. Cipla is into anti-bacterial and anti-asthmatic segments and is the first player in Asia to launch non-CFC metered dose inhaler.

See also

Tadacip (Erectile Dysfunction Product by Cipla)


External links

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