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Azad concerned over Indian pharma cos selling-off to MNCs

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Union Health Minister at a meeting with here today expressed concern over some of the recent sell-off of Indian pharmaceutical companies to foreign multinationals including that of Piramal's Healthcare Solutions business.

"The Minister expressed concern over the trend and raised the issue of the sale of Piramal's domestic formulations unit," industry participants who attended the first zonal meeting for the pharmaceutical companies from the west and southern parts of the country told reporters here.

"Piramal's Healthcare Vice-Chairman Swati Piramal, who also attended the meeting explained that the money generated from the sale is used to strengthen the research and development of the pharma company and that the Piramals hold a majority stake in the company and only a part of the group is sold," they said.

The Union Health Ministry convened a meeting of pharma companies from the western and southern parts of the country today, in the back drop of rising trend of major Indian pharma companies being taken over by the MNCs. It was the first of a series of zonal meetings scheduled.

Meanwhile, said that she clarified it to the Minister that the sale of a part of the business helped the company strengthen its future research and development and new drug developments.

In May, US drug major, Abbott India, acquired Piramal's Healthcare Solutions business for an up-front payment of $2.12-billion and an additional $400-million annually for the next four-years.

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