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Driving prices down for much-needed medications.

More than two decades ago, a Mumbai-based 80-year-old pharmaceutical company developed a revolutionary anti-AIDS cocktail and stunned the world by offering it for as low as a dollar a day. The move may have pushed the envelope in patent law, but it proved to be a turning point in the battle against the killer disease. Today, one in three people living with HIV across 115 countries are taking a Cipla drug.

Since then, the $2 billion-in-revenue Cipla has made affordability and global accessibility to medicines the cornerstone of its business plan, reflecting the company’s vision: “None shall be denied.” Cipla has by far the world’s widest range of antiretroviral (ARV) products approved by FDA and WHO for treating both children and adults suffering from HIV/AIDS, and also offers free ARV technology to all African countries wanting to produce their own drugs. The group has done the same for malaria, with its “less than a dollar” dose, becoming one of the largest suppliers of anti-malaria drugs in the world.

Next up in Cipla’s crusade for low-cost pills: to replicate the “dollar a day” initiative in its fight against cancer. The company is investing in a drive to create “biosimilar” versions of certain pricey oncology drugs. Expect heated intellectual-property debates—and cheaper medicines.

Company Information

Impact Segment
Public Health/Nutrition
Health Care
Subhanu Saxena
Company Type
Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$2,045
Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$230
Market Value ($M)$6,299