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- 03/30/2022

DCAT Week 2022 Interview: Rajesh Sadanandan, Head Mature Markets – NA, EU, Mexico, North America at Dr. Reddy’s

Chimica Oggi-Chemistry Today

Rajesh SadanandanAccelerating affordable access

Highlights from our discussion with Rajesh Sadanandan, Head Mature Markets – NA, EU, Mexico, North America at Dr. Reddy’s.


Affordable access

Dr. Reddy’s is known for its dedication to accelerating access to affordable medicines; yet the company also focuses on being first to market with products that are difficult to make. These seemingly exclusive goals are, in fact, both achievable at the same time because, as Rajesh explains, the company’s approach is “first to market” which, for Dr. Reddy’s, means getting the product right the first time at the right price.

As the market constantly evolves, the company strives to keep up with technological advancements to lower costs. Then, in terms of access, the company focuses on two main pillars:

  1. Working with local partners and distributors to make medicines available to as many patients as possible;
  2. Looking at specific products in the portfolio (e.g. orphan drugs and COVID) where an impact will be made by bringing those products to low-income countries at an affordable price.

Dr. Reddy’s is also working with different foundations and institutions on a Public Health Portfolio.

Medical cannabis

Last month (February 2022), Dr. Reddy’s announced an agreement to acquire German medical cannabis firm Nimbus Health. The acquisition has now been completed and it is an exciting move for Dr. Reddy’s, supporting the company’s efforts to meet unmet (or under-met) patient needs.

“Medical cannabis is increasingly used to address and treat high unmet medical needs,” says Rajesh. “Especially in pain management and CNS. As more European countries adopt the use of medical cannabis, which is backed by a number of ongoing clinical studies, the ability to leverage and access newer geographies will be key.”

Nimbus Health has established itself in Germany as a highly reputable, pioneering platform with an excellent knowledge base and network of trade partners. Being part of Dr. Reddy’s should provide Nimbus with access to additional connections and resources to scale up and grow, while adding to Dr Reddy’s portfolio of products that can make a real impact for patients.

Fight against COVID

Dr. Reddy’s has played a considerable role in the fight against COVID (of note, Sputnik Light). The company saw acting quickly to provide a solution – from prevention to cure – as a human necessity, rather than a business strategy. The clear focus was to bring those products to the market in an effort that put access before profit.

When asked if the resulting entry into anti-virals would drive a new focus in this therapeutic area going forward (Dr. Reddy’s has conventionally focussed on gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, diabetology, oncology, pain management and dermatology), Rajesh responded, “From a business point of view, we were never focused on anti-viral drugs or vaccines before, but this is something we are now going to take up more strategically. The main focus will be on the public health sector to help accelerate affordable access to new vaccines and anti-virals.”

Dr. Reddy’s will achieve this by leveraging its capabilities – for example, the company is in the process of launching a vaccination manufacturing site – and by working with partners who can complement its own resources.

Supply chains

Referring to reports of on-shoring manufacturing, and domestic sourcing, Rajesh says, “We’ve seen the impact of the pandemic and it is important to re-assess supply chains to make sure medicines are available whenever and wherever they are needed.”

Dr. Reddy’s started some years ago with the backward integration of its APIs, and has always worked closely with local partners to supply raw materials and intermediates if they are not produced in-house. The company’s ability to produce APIs and finished drug products gives them better visibility and control of its supply chain, and reduces its carbon footprint, which is another effort that the company is focusing on. However, while local sourcing can be safer for the supply chain and better for the environment, Rajesh believes that global supply chains are here to stay, as a necessary means of meeting demand for high-quality and affordable medicines.


DCAT Week is the premier global event held annually in New York City for companies engaged in the Bio/Pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain. It is hosted by the Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT), a not-for-profit, corporate member-supported, and volunteer-led global business development association for companies engaged in the Bio/Pharmaceutical manufacturing value chain. Learn more at