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SOHM expands Indian manufacturing capacity for drugs for “lifestyle diseases”

By Gareth Macdonald, 01-Mar-2011

Related topics: Regulatory & Safety, Globalisation

Generic drugmaker SOHM has expanded its manufacturing capacity for “lifestyle” diseases to meet growing Indian demand.

The non-branded manufacturer has ramped up its capabilities for the production of treatments for hypertension, cardiac disease and cholesterol reduction at its plant in Ahmadabad.

CEO Shailesh Shah said that: "India has the second largest population in the world. As the population continues to grow and with the rapid movement towards a more western lifestyle SOHM has decided this is the right time to enter the lifestyle segment of the pharmaceutical market.”

Shah used the cardiac disease market, explaining that sale of such drugs in India generates INR50bn ($1.1bn) and is growing at a rate of around 21 per cent a year driven by a number of key drugs.

Products like Atenolol, Amlodipin, Losartan Potassium, Ramipril and Olmesartan are the fastest growing products and cholesterol reducing agent Atorvastatin is another big growth engine within this segment.”

He also predicted that: “this area of generic pharmaceutical sales will only get larger in the future and we are preparing now to be a major distributor of lifestyle drugs in India."

Lifestyle disorders

SOHM’s predictions about the Indian market fit with the current view of the World Health Otrganisation (WHO), which recently predicted that heart diases would be the country’s biggest killer by 2015.

According to the organisation around 10 per cent of India’s population is affected by heart disease, compared with 7 percent in Europe and the US and around 4 per cent in China.

Additionally, WHO data indicates that 40 per cent of Indian’s living in urban areas have elevated lipid levels and thus are at an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Sri Lankan supply deal

News of the espansion follows just days after SOHM received an order for 10 generic medications from a distributor based in neighbouring Sri Lanka.

The deal, which will see SOHM supply some two million tablets and capsules, covers treatments for a wide range of ailments include a number of “Western lifestyle” related disorders.

At the time Shah said: “Sri Lanka is considered a gateway to Southeast Asia and one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world. We are positioning SOHM to be a major distributor of generic pharmaceuticals in this region.”