|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 5 | Page : 576
An unfinished agenda: My life in the pharmaceutical industry
Seshagiri Rao1, B Dinesh Kumar2
1 Former Vice President, Discovery Research, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Hyderabad, India
2 Sr. Dy. Director and President, Indian Pharmacological Society, Food and Drug Toxicology Research Centre (FDTRC), NIN (ICMR), Hyderabad, India
|Date of Web Publication||15-Sep-2015|
Former Vice President, Discovery Research, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Hyderabad, India
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Rao S, Kumar B D. An unfinished agenda: My life in the pharmaceutical industry. Indian J Pharmacol 2015;47:576
K. Anji Reddy
Publisher: Penguin Books Limited (26 January 2015)
An unfinished agenda: My life in the pharmaceutical industry is a memoir of late Shri Kallam Anji Reddy, the founder of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., Hyderabad. It is published by Penguin Books Ltd.
Dr. Reddy, in his simple narrative style, brings to the surface several unknown facts about the evolution of Indian pharmaceutical industry in general and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories in particular. An unfinished agenda is a very interesting and inspirational book by a scientist entrepreneur. India stands at the third position in terms of volume of drugs produced and has the highest number of Food and Drug Administration approved facilities outside the USA. This book gives a peep into the journey made by Dr. Anji Reddy from a dream he visualized to its translation into reality to find space under the sky internationally.
The reader is compelled to think of the motivational factor for a small village boy of semi-literate parents with an agricultural background to dream big and establish a pharmaceutical company to provide affordable medicines. In the first chapter, he attributes his inspiration to the historic moon landing in 1969 by Neil Armstrong – the bottom line of his philosophy is nothing is impossible in science for a prepared mind with a dream and passion to achieve it.
In his discovery efforts, Dr. Reddy narrates his contributions to the discovery of novel glitazones from his modest laboratories, which he deliberately located next to his grape garden to give the scientists a wonderful environment to work in and their out-licensing to Novo Nordisk and Novartis for further development.
First on his agenda was to synthesize bulk drugs and sell to the multinational and indigenous industry for making finished dosages at reasonable prices, which was facilitated by the new patents act in 1972. Dr. Reddy, however, observes that the lower bulk price did not result in affordable medicines as many pharma companies were unwilling to pass on the benefit to needy patients. He, therefore, decided to embark on finished dosage manufacture with a very simple formula - one dollar equals one rupee. The best example is enalapril which he launched with the trade name enam. He priced it at ₹ 1.20 whereas the price in the USA was $ 1.20.
The title of the book reflects Dr. Reddy's lifelong ambition and work that remained an unfinished agenda - the discovery of new drugs which was the closest to his heart. Inspired by Paul Janssen, a Belgian who became a legend in the drug discovery, Dr. Reddy says that nothing is more joyous experience than the discovery of a new drug. More than that is a sense of having been rewarded with finding a cure for a specific disease. In this endeavor, he touches upon a lot of discoveries by several scientists such as Sir James Black, Frederick Sanger, Selman Waksman, Yellapragada Subba Row, and a host of scientists who made a mark by their discoveries that revolutionized healthcare. No wonder the book brings to mind the classic publication "A brief history of great discoveries in pharmacology: In celebration of the centennial anniversary of the founding of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics" by Ronald P. Rubin in Pharmacol Rev 59, 289–359, 2007.
In a nutshell, the book is all about Dr. Reddy's missionary zeal and faith in science and the urge to do what he could in every walk of life with unwavering conviction, be it affordable medicines or drug discovery or social responsibility.