Irish drugmaker, Shire, announced earlier this month it will bring new genetic disorder drugs to India, stepping up its worldwide presence.
Shire is unique in that it’s one of the few pharma companies that focuses on rare disease!
According to its mission statement:
“At Shire, we are champions for people around the world who are struggling with rare diseases – they are at the center of everything we do.”
In India, drugs to treat rare diseases are largely procured by the government and dispensed at public hospitals ; so Shire’s plan to expand its presence in India marks a big turning point.
Currently, Shire sells twelve products in India, including those treat blood disorder hemophilia – and it has just applied to the Drug Controller General of India to introduce drugs to treat a category of genetic disorders known as lysosomal storage diseases.
“We have made an application to launch the drugs. The application is under review and as of yet, we do not know whether a clinical trial will be needed in India. We are also evaluating the launch of oncology drugs in India,” said Vineet Singhal, Shire’s India rep.
Shire’s eagerness to expand in India is also fuelled by the government’s proposed new policy on rare disease treatment and an increase in the number of government-run hospitals procuring drugs for rare diseases.
It is also supporting an initiative by Indian Council of Medical Research to compile a registry of rare diseases and has also launched a new patient support program!
These are important, promising steps in the GLOBAL fight to raise awareness of not just rare diseases – but the need for private companies and governments to address the unique obstacles of developing rare disease treatment.