Heritage Times

Exploring lesser known History

featured postsMedicine

Cipla’s Role in Making India’s Pharmaceutical Industry Self-Reliant

Cipla, one of the best and oldest pharmaceutical companies in India was founded by Dr Khwaja Abdul Hamied in 1935. Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories (CIPLA) played a vital role in raising the standard of the pharmaceutical and chemical industry in India. Cipla has emerged as one of the most respected pharmaceutical names not just in India but worldwide. They have continuously strived to provide the unmet medical needs of the world.

After establishing Cipla in 1935, Dr Hamied worked day and night and continued his journey of care, making India self-reliant in the healthcare sector.

On July 4, 1939, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Dr Sushila Nayar visited Cipla.
Photo : Cipla Archives

Hakeem Mohammad Kabiruddin – A 20th century academician of Unani Medicine

In 1939, when Mahatma Gandhi boycotted all British products including their medication, he visited Cipla and motivated the founder to make essential medicines for the country and together they worked towards self-sufficiency. During the World War II when India faced shortage of life-saving drugs, Cipla manufactured them for the Indian nation. Cipla laid the foundation for the bulk drug industry in India by pioneering the API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) manufacture during 1960s.


Maulana Azad & Asaf Ali's visit to Cipla
On July 30, 1940, freedom fighters Maulana Azad & Asaf Ali visited Cipla. Seen here with our founder Dr KA Hamied
Photo : Cipla Archives

Revolutionising Indian Healthcare

In 1970, Cipla spearheaded the New Patent Law. The new law enabled Indian pharmaceutical companies to manufacture patented products for the first time. This enabled Indian companies for the first time to manufacture any medicines and make them available and affordable for all Indians.

In 1978, India witnessed the manufacture of Metered-Dose Inhaler (MDI), when the import supplies of this device had been stopped. Today India has the world’s largest range of inhaled medication and devices.

When Subhas Chandra Bose sent the “Indian Medical Mission” to China against Japan

Photo : Cipla Archives
Photo : Cipla Archives

The world first iron chelator, Deferiprone, was first launched by Cipla in 1994 which revolutionised the treatment for Thalassemia. For the first time patients with thalassemia had an affordable, convenient option for their treatment. While in 1996, Cipla gave the world the first transparent dry powder inhaler which was relatively simple to use. This breakthrough changed the inhalation therapy in India.

The history of Western Medicine and its rise in Colonial India

During the millennium, in 2001, Cipla successfully found an access for HIV treatment by making antiretroviral (ARV’s) available at less than a dollar a day. Millions of lives were saved when the cause of treatment dramatically reduced from USD 12000 per person per year to USD 300 per person per year. Facing the bird flu crisis, Cipla rose to the challenge by swiftly developing an anti-flu drug in 2-3 months.
In 2012, Cipla reduces the prices of the cancer drugs. Thereby making the world class medication affordable and accessible to the cancer patients.

Share this Post on :

Dr. Zareen Fatima

Dr Zareen is an ambitious general dentist working and residing in UAE. She is able to handle multiple tasks on a daily basis. Alongside her busy work schedule, she is a vivid reader, researcher, writer editor and is currently pursuing Masters in Public Health. In her leisure she brings out the forgotten history in the field of medicine and associated disciplines.