Abbott collaborates with Zydus Cadila

Abbott expected to gain rights to at least 24 Zydus products.

Abbott has entered into a licensing and supply agreement with Zydus Cadila of India for a portfolio of pharmaceutical products that Abbott is expected to commercialise in 15 emerging markets, enabling the company to further accelerate its emerging markets growth.

As per the agreement, Abbott is expected to gain rights to at least 24 Zydus products in 15 key emerging markets where Abbott has a growing presence. The agreement also includes an option for the addition of more than 40 Zydus products to the collaboration.

The collaboration includes medicines for pain, cancer and cardiovascular, neurological and respiratory diseases. The partnership will leverage Abbott's powerful emerging markets infrastructure to commercialize the Zydus products, with product launches beginning in early 2012.

Abbott has also created a stand-alone Established Products Division (EPD) concentrated on expanding the market for its established pharmaceutical portfolio outside of the US, particularly focused in emerging markets.

EPD is expected to be led by Michael Warmuth, who has experience in Abbott's pharmaceutical business and most recently led Abbott's diagnostics division. Olivier Bohuon, executive vice president of pharmaceutical products group at Abbott, said: "EPD is part of the Pharmaceutical Products Group. Our new Established Products Division, will focus on expanding our presence and product offerings in the world's fastest-growing emerging markets."

Pankaj Patel, chairman and managing director of Zydus Cadila, said: "We have always believed in working with partners for win-win alliances that look at new opportunities for growth and expansion.

"In this alliance we see tremendous opportunity to participate in multiple ways in a market that is growing and expanding rapidly. Building on our mutual strengths we are creating a considerable competitive advantage for value creation for both partners over the long term."

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.