Posts Tagged ‘Merck’

Merck Outsources IT-Services to HCL in a $500 Million Deal

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai, 05.05.2010, p. 7

INDIA’S fifth-largest IT services company HCL Technologies on Tuesday bagged a $500-million strategic IT outsourcing contract from the US-based Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD). The pact with one of the largest drug makers in the world may indicate the return of the large-ticket deals in the Indian IT sector. ]…]

Merck will leverage HCL’s near-shore delivery network in North Carolina and global delivery centres in Krakow (Poland) and Shanghai. HCL plans to hire US citizens to boost its onshore delivery for Merck in its centre in Raleigh. […]

The Noida based company will provide BPO services, remote infrastructure management (RIM), and enterprise application development for Merck, over the next five years, as part of the deal. HCL Technologies expects revenues from the Merck deal to start flowing from this quarter onwards. Healthcare and Lifesciences contributed almost 8% to HCL Technologies’ $685 million revenues, for the January to March period, this year.

Multinational pharma majors like Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithkline already outsource to Indian IT service providers like Infosys, TCS, HCL and Wipro. […]

Controversy over alleged clinical trial deaths in India

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

“Indian girls not guinea pigs for anti-cervical cancer vaccines”, says Government

Source: Times of India, 22.04.2010

NEW DELHI: The health ministry on Thursday forcefully denied the allegation levelled by the opposition that Indian girls are being used as guinea pigs for anti-cervical cancer vaccines.

Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, replying to a calling attention notice in the Rajya Sabha, said that use of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines imported by Merck and CERVARIX (manufactured by GSK) have been stopped in the country.

The ministry has also constituted a committee of experts to find the efficacy and safety of the drug, following apprehension that the death of four girls in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat had any connection with the vaccine.

“Although prima facie there does not appear to be a connection between the deaths and the vaccination, for our satisfaction and to allay the apprehensions the states have been advised not to carry out any further vaccinations till further orders,” Azad said.

He rejected the charge that guidelines had been violated and pointed out that the vaccines were being used in over 100 countries, including US and UK. These two countries have even included them in their national immunisation programme.

The two HPV vaccines (GARDASIL) were allowed for clinical trial in the country in accordance with the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and these are available in the market. However, a US-based NGO, PATH, was granted permission to carry out an operational research on these vaccinations in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh and Vadodara in Gujarat.

In India, more than 1.32 lakh women suffer from the disease and 76,000 died in 2008. “Given the gravity of the disease, could India afford not to allow use of a vaccine just because it has been dismissed in certain quarters,” Azad asked.

He, however, assured the members that Indian girls would not be allowed to be used as guinea pigs for clinical trials and the vaccine would be used only after clearance of the panel.

Initiating the debate, Brinda Karat (CPM) doubted the composition of the committee and demanded that eminent experts on medicine should be part of the panel.

Azad reportedly elaborated that “[…] four deaths have been reported in a population of over 14 thousand vaccinated girls in Andhra Pradesh where the district Medical Officer has given the cause of deaths like suicide, viral fever and drowning” (Choudhary, 22.04.2010).

Also see:

News items in The Hindu, 22.04.2010 and, 22.04.2010.

Merck sees R&D opportunities in India

Monday, March 29th, 2010


STEFAN Oschmann is president, Emerging Markets, at Merck, the world’s second largest pharmaceuticals company […] Mr Oschmann hopes to push both revenues and R&D [in India], which “is already among the company’s top five markets“.

[…] What about R&D? Right now, the bulk of the company’s basic research takes place in North America, but that’s bound to change, says Mr Oschmann.

India has potentially strong capability in drug R&D. Its reverse engineering expertise, gathered in the days of process patents, used to be the bugbear of the world’s pharma giants. After joining the World Trade Organisation, India adopted product patents, but the process expertise continues to make Indian pharma companies world beaters in continuous cost reduction. Indian companies keep innovating manufacturing processes, to lower their production costs further. There is every reason for the world’s pharma giants to gain access to this expertise, as they prepare to garner larger shares of their revenue from cost-sensitive emerging markets.


But that’s not all. On March 10, a chemical breakthrough that would help produce environment-friendly plastics was announced by scientists from IBM and Stanford University, showing the increasing role of information technology in developing new molecules. India has proven capability in information technology that could be tapped for pharma research. This, indeed, is the case, concurs Mr Oschmann.

Source: Economic Times Mumbai; Date:2010 Mar 29; Section:Editorial; Page Number 18