It gives me immense pleasure to share with you some important insights about your Company, the indigenous pharma industry and the overall status of healthcare.
These are extremely challenging times for our industry and also for Cipla. The industry saw a slow growth rate in the recent past, due in some measure to Government policies and control measures. Also, globally, we witnessed increasing pressure on the pharmaceutical industry -regulatory and compliance issues are getting more demanding, intellectual property rights increasingly have become more complex and pricing pressures are intensifying. Moreover, socio-economic and environmental volatility is prevalent in most of the markets that we serve across the world.
Let me share with you some statistics related to the status of healthcare in India. The disease pattern reveals some startling figures. We rank 147 out of 184 countries in healthcare spending. India spends approximately 1% of its GDP on healthcare, compared to over 8% by the US, Sweden and Cuba. In fact, over 60% of Indians pay for their personal healthcare. The average cost of hospitalisation has increased from about Rs.9,000 in 2004 to over Rs.25,000 currently.
However, the above dismal picture reinforces our commitment to ensure that no patient will be denied access to high quality affordable medicine and medical support. For more than eight decades of our corporate evolution, we have striven to make medicines accessible and affordable to a large number of patients, both in India and globally.
Even as we remain committed to our purpose of ‘Caring for Life’, we hope that our Government takes industry leaders into confidence to address major issues such as pricing, intellectual property and monopoly.
A long-term pragmatic drug policy can certainly help the industry and the Government to plan and work towards building better healthcare facilities for the future as healthcare is a basic human right.
During the financial year ended March 17, your Company’s domestic growth has been 10%. We have successfully integrated our two recent acquisitions, InvaGen and Exelan into our global mainstream operations. Recently, Cipla USA ranked 9th highest in prescriptions among all the US generic companies. Besides, we are among the leaders in South Africa and also in several smaller countries, such as Uganda, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, among others. We continue to serve multiple markets effectively throughout the world.
One of the major factors for your Company to stay ahead and maintain a suitable growth, despite a highly competitive environment is Cipla’s investment in R&D. This year the figure has reached 7.6% of our total revenue and we are among the leaders conducting effective R&D in the domestic pharmaceutical landscape. This year we filed 32 Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) in the US. We have filed many patents in India and internationally and we are confident that the overall result of our initiatives will be evident in the coming years.
At the same time, your Company has taken a very strategic decision to sharpen our focus in areas where we have the maximum competence and expertise. Cipla strongly believes this is essential for progress.
Your Company stays committed to widen its reach and meet patient needs by entering into licensing agreements and partnerships, with both international and Indian companies. Cipla continues to provide drugs of exemplary quality, consistency and reliability to the public and serve their medical requirements both in India and abroad. Cipla will continue to develop existing and newer markets globally and assist underdeveloped nations in all possible ways. Your Company’s focus will remain on a global access programme in several critical therapeutic and neglected areas that include HIV/AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, cancer and reproductive health. Recently, Cipla was one of only two international pharma companies selected for an African cancer initiative programme by a group consisting of the American Cancer Society, Clinton Health Access Initiative, National Comprehensive Cancer Network and IBM.
Your Company is proud of its manufacturing facilities, both in API and finished dosage forms across the world. We will continue to upgrade and preserve our tradition of the highest quality standards.
Cipla is committed to using its technology and innovation to deliver medicines of outstanding quality for which we have an excellent reputation within India and abroad. Cipla has an exceptionally talented management team that is preparing Cipla for the years ahead. Your Company’s systems, technologies, people practices, governance standards are now benchmarked with the best anywhere. The OneCipla Credo is a commitment to be the kind of company we want to be.
I firmly believe that Cipla is undergoing a transformation for the better and we will deliver to our shareholders a stronger future, based on the foundation of our past legacy.
I wish to convey my gratitude to all of you for your continued support over the years. Your Directors and management are committed to ensuring that Cipla remains a leading institution that we all believe in - a unique blend of science, business, purpose, commitment and humanity.
Y. K. Hamied