Indian pharmaceutical tycoon Yusuf Hamied revolutionised AIDS treatment more than a decade ago by supplying cut-price drugs to the world’s poor — and now he wants to do the same for cancer.
Hamied, chairman of generic drugs giant Cipla, last month slashed the cost of three medicines to fight brain, kidney and lung cancer in India, making the drugs up to more than four times cheaper.
“I hope we’ll cut prices of many more cancer drugs,” he told AFP, adding that he wants to supply the cheaper drugs to Africa and elsewhere.
“Reducing the price of cancer drugs is a humanitarian move.”
Hamied, 76, was pilloried by Western drug giants 11 years ago when he broke their monopoly by offering to supply life-saving triple therapy AIDS drug cocktails for under $1 a day — one-thirtieth the price of the multinationals.
The firms branded him an intellectual property thief while he accused them of being “global serial killers” whose high prices were costing the lives of AIDS patients.