Dr. Yusuf Hamied is hardly the pharmaceutical pirate of popular belief. He presides over his empire, radiating excitement and high spirits. “We are the biggest supplier of drugs for AIDS treatment in the world!“, he says. Cipla managed this coup by working on the second P of the marketing mix – Price. While world leaders sold the drug at US$ 15,000 for one year’s treatment per person to poor African countries, he rocked the world when the New York Times announced that he was willing to sell at US$ 300, as well as help any underdeveloped country set up its own manufacturing facility. He literally saved millions of Africans and Asians from the death sentence that AIDS had become. His considerable influence resulted in President Bush making Cipla, a part of his AIDS report. He used out – of – the – box thinking to combine and recombine drugs to create new formulations. Responding to the patient’s need for convenience, Cipla created the double dose Trimune, which could replace the highly inconvenient six – dose medicine packs.
“From the days of the national movement, our family believed in India’s need to be self reliant and self – sufficient. Mrs. Indira Gandhi provided a huge opportunity for the Indian pharmaceutical industry to blossom by passing the 1972 patent laws. Today, under pressure from the WTO, India will once again lose its capacity to care for its sick. By 2015, most Indians will not be able to afford those medicines. Profits will fill the coffers of rich nations. It will be selected genocide due to lack of affordable medicine. This law affecting the survival of 1.5 billion people was passed, without debate, by a mere show of hands.” He is passionately outraged.
“Take the battle into their backyards!“, he says, bubbling gleefully. He has plans to attack markets in Europe, Japan and Australia by exporting generics. His style is mega blockbuster. A warrior who takes the battle into the competitor’s backyard. He studies the chinks in their armour and strikes them where they are vulnerable. Dr. Yusuf Hamied, Padma Bhushan, has made India proud by taking on the world!