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Global Generic Medicines Summit

This year Health Network Communications ran its first conference on this subject. It was held at the Kensington Hilton, London and spanned two days.

This was a well attended conference where around 70 delegates listened to and watched some very well presented papers by some well known speakers.

This was a truly international event with speakers and delegates from all over the world reporting on various aspects relating to their countries generic activity.

As in many other similar events, Martin Paltnoi, PPB Joint Editor, chaired the first day’s activities and was presiding over events during probably the conference highlight. This was a video-linked presentation by US Congressman Henry A Waxman, who brought us up to date with events in the USA surrounding Hatch-Waxman (Waxman-Hatch) legislation.

The proceedings were opened by Dr Gerard van Odijk, the CEO of Teva Europe, who discussed the opportunities open to generic producers. The presentation, although guarded, was interesting and thought provoking. One of the major problems confronting speakers at such an event is to be interesting while not giving away too much of what your company is doing. There is no doubt that Teva is the world leader in generics, but to expect one of their senior executives to say how this is achieved would be a little optimistic.

Dr van Odijk was followed by Erik Bogsch the CEO of Gedeon Richter, the Hungarian pharmaceutical producer of long standing. He described his company’s position and the Hungarian status in the world scene.

We heard from Sigudur Oli Olaffson, Senior Director of Actavis, the Icelandic company that has made such an impact on the global scene in such a short space of time.

After tea on the first day, Graham Lewis, Senior VP of IMS and well known to the conference scene, expounded on IMS’s perception on the challenges and opportunities presented to producers of generics. In the past IMS solely confined their attention to mainstream research-based companies, but with changes in the structure and emphasis of the market they have been forced to devote more attention to generics.

Graham then chaired a round table where the three previous speakers were panel members formed to answer questions from the floor. The delegates were a little reticent in posing questions to the panel making Graham Lewis’s task as chairman a little more stretched.

After lunch, and after having dealt with the technical problems in setting up a video-link with the USA, we were entertained with a lively presentation from US Congressman, Henry A Waxman, who told us all about developments in US legislation likely to influence generics in the USA. He talked about the “Fair Prescription Drug Competition Act of 2007” and whether or not it will be passed. With the support of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats having gained control of both Houses n the USA, Mr Waxman is confident it will be passed.

This together with “Access to Life Saving Medicines Act” is bound to have significant effect on the US market and subsequently, the world.

This was followed by Mr Starkowicz, the Director of Business Development for Polpharma, who added to the comment on opportunities – with emphasis on the Polish market. He was clear to state that things were a little more difficult than was originally though prior to CEEC accession.

Dr Wei Huacheng, Director of Double-Crane Pharmaceuticals of China presented, through an interpreter, the Chinese position. He is confident of future Chinese progress, but admits that they have a lot to learn. This they are doing by observing India’s approach to the market. He stated that activity covers three main areas:

- certified API
- intermediates
- finished dosage form

The first of these they are covering adequately but in intermediates and finished dose form they have a long way to go.

The second day was chaired by Ana Maria Zaugg, Chief Marketing Officer of IMS Health, who presided over another lively session.

Although the papers did not quite have the drawing power of the first day, they were nevertheless, interesting and well presented and were well attended throughout.

We had presentations from Indian companies like Ranbaxy and Wockhardt who talked about the Indian position in the global market and the MD of Wockhardt, Mr Sirjiwan Singh, talked about building a generics business in the UK.

We had papers from Peter Wittner of Interpharm Consultancy talking about development trends in the generics industry, and Martin Paltnoi, your joint editor, presenting opinions on development in intellectual property.

The session concluded with speakers on biogenerics and an academic view from the London School of Econimics by Dr Panos Kanavos on the European policy environment for generics.

The second day was concluded by Stephen Bennett of Lovells who presented a very interesting paper on the latest litigation concerning patent matters which held the audience to the close of the session.


This was Health Network’s first attempt at this subject, although their MD, Mr Zahid Tharia, is well experienced on the subject. The conference was well presented and bodes well for any future activity for this company.

For any further information on this or any other Health Network conferences, contact them on +44 (0) 208871 5059 or their website:

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