|Biographical detail : ||India’s acknowledged chemist for brilliance.
The last two decades of the 20th century saw a scientific revolution in the development of antiretroviral drugs for Aids. Yusuf Hamied has translated these clinical advances into accessible treatment for HIV patients across the developing world. He saved countless lives by making medicines affordable.
The maker and supplier of world’s largest antiretroviral drugs, called ‘Triomune’, launched in 2000,Yusuf Hamied is a major shareholder of Cipla, the drugs manufacturer – largest pharmaceutical company in India.
Yusuf Hameid’s father Khwaja Abdul Hamied, from Allahabad, returned to Bombay after finishing his higher studies in Berlin with licences to sell typewriters, sewing machines and ‘Okasa’, a tonic for male impotence. The drug set the stage for his new company – Chemical Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories (Cipla), in 1935.
Yusuf shared his father’s passion for the subject – completing a PhD at Cambridge – before returning to join the family business.
Yusuf helped form the Indian Drug manufacturers’ Association with the aim of weakening the patent regime to help local producers. India’s patent law came into force in 1972. It signalled the start of a golden era for the country’s generic companies, and above all for Cipla. The stranglehold of multinational pharmaceutical companies in India was broken.
Yusuf Hamied was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, and his mother was Jewish. He loves horse racing and art collecting. His lifestyle is split between luxurious homes in London, Marbella, Mauritius and Mumbai.