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Malta: Generic drug makers have found a new home in Malta. Because of the island's small population, many pharmaceutical companies never registered patents locally in order to save money. Among the advantages are the country's interpretation of patent laws, enabling development of a generic drug to begin six years after the first application for authorization, its small size, which allows easier access to government officials and low labor costs. The government's business friendly incentives have already attracted 20 small drug firms. Headquartered in Iceland, drug firm Actavis is manufacturing its generic copy of the antidepressant Zoloft on the island, which will begin shipping to Europe in October, giving it a critical head start in the market. However, pharmaceutical companies have begun registering patents on the island and the influx of companies has strained the infrastructure and supply of qualified staff.

Source: Financial Times
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Title Annotation:Region Watch
Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Date:Sep 30, 2005
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