Ranbaxy earns a rare approval for new malaria treatment

Indian pharma companies have a well-earned reputation for being good at creating cheap knockoffs of branded drugs. The copy-cat expertise has done them little good, though, when it comes to developing new molecules. But after a decade-long dry spell, India's Ranbaxy Labs has won regulatory approval for a new anti-malarial treatment.

This new treatment is a combination of arterolane maleate and piperaquine phosphate, and the focus here is still very much on price and ease of use. The drug will be sold for a fraction of what the current branded therapies sell for, and they're designed to reduce the number of pills that patients are now required to take.

Don't expect this one approval to change the lackluster reputation India's pharma industry has earned for innovative development work.

"There are a few companies whose molecules have reached the last phase of clinical trials. But, on the whole, Indian drugmakers have had very limited success with their drug discovery programs because of inadequate funding and lack of proper skill sets," Sujay Shetty of PricewaterhouseCoopers tells The Economic Times.

- here's the story from The Economic Times

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