By Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Oxfam senior health advisor

Gone are the days when cancer was seen as a problem only faced by rich countries. With the trend of rising cancer rates set to continue because of changing lifestyles and increasingly ageing populations in developing nations, cancer is becoming a huge challenge for emerging economies and the situation is being exacerbated by a lack of affordable medicines. Read more

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India’s biggest drugmaker by market value, agreed this week to buy its competitor, Ranbaxy, for $3.2bn from Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo, which paid 61 per cent more for the Indian company five years ago.

But given that Ranbaxy has been troublesome for its Japanese owner, what chance does Sun have of realising its aim to create synergies from the deal worth $250m over the next three years? Read more

Novartis is bullish on Africa. The company’s chief executive Joseph Jimenez last week assembled his senior executives to discuss strategy. Describing the continent as the “next set of emerging markets”, Jimenez thinks it could deliver double digit growth for the Basel-based drug company.

Pharmaceutical companies are now looking to devise long-term strategies for Africa, a market long reliant on donations but now with an expanding middle class. But all brand pharma companies have to tread carefully when trying to make profits in emerging markets. Read more

It’s a good day for global health – and a good day for China National Biotec group, a leading Chinese vaccine manufacturer.

One of CNBG’s vaccines on Wednesday got “pre-qualified” by the World Health Organization for use all around the world, a first for a Chinese companyRead more

India’s pharmaceuticals sector continues to attract foreign investment, even as the nation’s economy slows.

Yet if the industry is to prosper in future, many analysts believe it must outgrow its image as a producer of inexpensive copycat generics and begin making original drugs of its own – a step billionaire healthcare entrepreneur Ajay Piramal (pictured) says is now being undermined by ever-stronger restrictions on domestic clinical trials. Read more

EM health starts here

Towering above the Manhattan skyline, the 50th floor of JPMorgan’s headquarters is as remote from Africa as you can get. But during the UN General Assembly every September, the capital of high finance becomes a capital of international development as heads of state, philanthropists and multinational companies mingle in New York.

This week, the world’s top investment bank by revenue announced its lead role in the launch of $100m Global Health Investment Fund, a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a punchy list of public donors and private financiers. A way of using CSR to drum up business, or good for the world? Or perhaps a bit of both? Read more

While most Chileans were dwelling somberly on the past on Wednesday, commemorating the 40th anniversary of General Pinochet’s coup d’état on 11th September 1973, the attention of CFR Pharmaceuticals was firmly focused on its future.

Chile’s largest pharmaceuticals company is about to get even bigger after agreeing to pay $1.3bn for South Africa’s Adock Ingram Holdings, in a deal that would expand CFR’s reach across four continents. Read more

So much for the Ranbaxy slump. Shares in the generic drug maker surged on Thursday, up over 30 per cent by mid-afternoon in Mumbai, after overnight results.

The company had been expected to post a decent set of figures. As it turned out, that wasn’t the case and Ranbaxy suffered hefty charges on the back of a weakening rupee. But investors still gave the stock a big jump. Why? Read more

News about Ranbaxy this quarter has been generally iffy: guilty verdicts and drops in share price.

But poor figures for the quarter ended this June may come as a surprise for any investors who have assumed the Indian generics manufacturer, which exports much of its produce, would benefit from a depreciating rupee.

After markets closed on Wednesday, the Indian pharmaceutical company announced it made a net loss of Rs5.2bn ($85.8m) in the three months to June 30. Read more

Shares in Wockhardt, an Indian generics producer, dropped 3.2 per cent on Thursday, adding to a 20 per cent drop on Wednesday after the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) declared some of its products were adultered.

The FDA wrote to the company on July 18, after visiting its facility in Aurangabad, in the western state of Maharashtra, saying investigators had found manufacturing practices weren’t up to scratch, and that company staff had withheld information and thwarted the inspection. Read more

It’s no secret that GSK is bullish on Nigeria, Africa’s second biggest economy. Last November the company’s board agreed to raise its shareholding in local subsidiary GSK Nigeria to 80 per cent, up from 46 per cent, through a forced tender offer.

Eight months later, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the move up to 75 per cent. But minority shareholders are unhappy at the price, and the process.

 Read more

Chile is proud to boast scores of trade treaties with countries spanning the globe and its companies have increasingly been chasing down opportunities to boost their presence abroad.

Even so, it’s not every day that a Chilean firm makes a bid for a South African one.

But that is what Chilean pharmaceuticals company, CFR, has done with its 12.9bn rand ($1.3bn) offer for South Africa’s Adcock Ingram, the country’s largest supplier of hospital products in which the government employee pension fund manager is the leading shareholder. Read more

Last week Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s biggest pharmaceuticals company, must have thought it had at last settled an eight-year dispute when it paid $500m in fines and compensation and pleaded guilty to felony charges related to production and distribution of adulterated drugs in the US.

But it isn’t over yet. Daiichi Sankyo – the Tokyo based drugmaker that paid quite a premium for a controlling stake in Ranbaxy back in 2008 – has taken the row to a new front. Read more

The reputation of Chinese pharmaceuticals in Africa has taken a hammering over the last couple of years. Far from curing disease, Chinese companies are accused of sitting at the centre of a vast counterfeiting industry dumping fake medicines on the continent at a cost of billions of dollars and countless lives.

But two Chinese pharmaceutical companies – Guilin Pharmaceuticals and Watson Global Pharmaceuticals Ind – are breaking new ground by introducing SMS-based authenticity checks for their anti-malarial drugs in Africa. Read more

The US subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s biggest pharmaceuticals group, has pleaded guilty to felony charges related to drug safety and will pay $500m in what the US Department of Justice called the largest such settlement to date with a generic drug manufacturer.

It lifts a cloud hanging over Ranbaxy for the past eight years. But it is still not clear when the company will be able to resume exports to the US from its two factories at the centre of the scandal, which have been at a virtual standstill since 2008. Read more

Last November, GlaxoSmithKline topped the Access to Medicine Index for the third year running, commended for its equitable pricing policy in emerging markets and a pro-access approach to licensing and patents.

You can be forgiven for feeling puzzled – the ranking marks a big turnaround for a company which little more than a decade ago was public enemy number one in Africa and elsewhere. How did that happen? Read more

By Pan Kwan Yuk and Thalita Carrico

Brazil’s burgeoning middle class might have helped propel the country to the top of the consumer league tables.

But as Brazilians have gotten richer, they are also succumbing in ever greater numbers to so-called diseases of affluence – namely obesity, diabetes and cancer. It’s a development that has not gone unnoticed among the world’s top pharmaceutical companies. Read more

By Sudip Chaudhuri of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

India’s Supreme Court has denied Novartis a patent for a cancer drug. Novartis is upset that the judgement will adversely affect innovation.

In this case, the judgement is based upon a simple but powerful idea – and other countries could follow suit. Read more

In this photograph taken on October 20, 2010 drugs are displayed at a chemist's shop in Mumbai.India’s lawyers will be licking their lips. Just days after the Supreme Court denied the multinational pharmaceuticals group, Novartis, patent protection for its cancer drug, the country’s judges have another case on their hands.

Merck Sharp and Dohme, better known as MSD, has filed a case with Delhi’s High Court claiming that Glenmark, the Mumbai-listed pharmaceutical company, is violating patents on its diabetes drugs, Januvia and Janumet. And in an unusual move – as domestic pharmas rarely take one another on in India – Sun Pharma, has joined the proceedings as a co-plaintiff. Read more

Shares in Strides Arcolab dropped 6.9 per cent on Thursday to Rs917.25, after the Bangalore-based pharmaceuticals company confirmed it is selling off its injectables unit at a lower-than-expected price.

There have been several rumoured buyers for the subsidiary, Agila Specialities, but it was announced on Wednesday that Mylan, the US generic drug producer, is to pay $1.6bn in cash for the business. Read more