Cipla Limited, the Indian multinational pharmaceutical company, has been producing a wide range of medications and raw materials to make drugs for almost a century. Cipla Limited is based in Mumbai. 

This company mainly focuses on creating drugs to address conditions like asthma, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, and depression.

Here are some of the details about Cipla. 

Company Overview

Cipla was founded in Mumbai in 1935 as ‘The Chemical, Industrial & Pharmaceutical Laboratories.’ by Khwaja Abdul Hamied. In July 1984, the name of the business was changed to ‘Cipla Limited.

Led by the founder’s son Yusuf Hamied, a Cambridge-educated chemist, the company provided generic AIDS and other drugs to treat poor people in the developing world. 

Cipla has a long history of being the first in production of many drugs. In 1995, Cipla launched the world’s first oral iron chelator called Deferiprone. In 2001, Cipla offered antiretrovirals for HIV treatment at a fraction of the cost (less than $350 per pill). This was aimed to make the antiretroviral drugs affordable for all. 

Cipla also has a history of working alongside other companies as well as purchasing other businesses. 

The South African business Cipla-Medpro was purchased by Cipla in 2013.  Cipla kept it as a subsidiary and renamed it as Cipla Medpro South Africa Limited. 

At the time of the acquisition, Cipla-Medpro, the third-largest pharmaceutical company in South Africa, had been a Cipla distribution partner. Enaleni pharmaceuticals acquired all of the shares of Cipla-Medpro, a joint venture between Cipla and South African generics company Medpro Pharmaceuticals, in 2005. In 2008, it changed its name to Cipla-Medpro.

Cipla then purchased the American pharmaceutical firms InvaGen Pharmaceuticals and Exelan Pharmaceuticals in September 2015.

In addition to pharmaceutical and personal care goods, Cipla also supplies active pharmaceutical components to other producers of escitalopram oxalate (an antidepressant), lamivudine, and fluticasone propionate. 

They are the biggest producer of antiretroviral medications. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cipla started producing the drug remdesivir. This happened after coming to a voluntary licensing agreement with the parent company and receiving Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval for “restricted emergency use” in COVID-19 treatment of critically ill confirmed patients. Remdesivir, a drug originally developed by Gilead Sciences, would be available in India under the brand name CIPREMI, which Cipla started producing in July 2020. 

Cipla has won various awards such as the Chemexcil Award for Excellence for Exports, Thomson Reuters India Innovation Award, Dun & Bradstreet American Express Corporate Awards.

 In 2007, Forbes listed Cipla among the 200 “Best under a billion” list of the best small Asian companies. In 2015, Cipla ranked third in  India’s Most Reputed Brands (Pharmaceuticals) list. 

What Does CIPLA Sell?

Cipla sells its products mainly based on therapeutic categories. This includes respiratory, HIV/AIDS, Oncology, and other therapies. 

Respiratory Therapy

A wide range of drug and device combinations developed by Cipla aims to help those who suffer from respiratory problems. It is further divided into subcategories to treat various respiratory illnesses. This includes asthma, COPD, and paediatric asthma.

Cipla not only produces medications to tackle these conditions, but also runs campaigns to educate the affected and non-affected about the condition and how to live a better life even if one suffers from these illnesses. Some of the drugs produced by Cipla to tackle these conditions are: 


Asthalin is a fast-acting bronchodilator or “reliever”. It contains salbutamol and is available as an inhaler, rotacaps as well as a liquid form for nebulization. 

It works by loosening the airway muscles and opening up the airways. This facilitates breathing.

Asthalin can help in the treatment of conditions like asthma, COPD, and other respiratory conditions. 

The metered dose inhaler can give up to 200 puffs and each puff delivers 100mcg of salbutamol. It is easy to carry around and use. 


Foracort is an inhaler that combines two medications, formoterol fumarate and budesonide. It helps to breathe easier by relieving the chronic symptoms of asthma and COPD. It functions by preventing the production of specific chemical messengers that result in inflammation (swelling) and by relaxing the airway muscles.

Foracort is available as a metered dose inhaler, capsules for rotahaler, and respules for nebulization. 


Ipravent belongs to the class of drugs called anticholinergics. It is used to treat COPD and asthma. It works by relaxing the muscles in the airways and widening them, making it easier to breathe. 

Ipravent is available as respules for nebulization, inhaler, and as rotacaps for rotahaler. 

Treatment of HIV/AIDS 

Cipla has developed over 15 single and combination drugs against HIV/AIDS with as minimum cost as possible.  

In 2001, Cipla introduced the world’s first-ever recommended 3-in-1 fixed dose combination (Stavudine + Lamivudine + Nevirapine) to fight AIDS. 

Cipla has also made contributions to the field of paediatric HIV and catered to the requirements of all HIV patients, including expectant moms, newborns, children, and adults. It is believed that there are currently 1 million patients using Cipla’s antiretrovirals worldwide. With consistent treatment, these patients can live for many years and lead a nearly normal life.

Some of the antiretroviral drugs produced by Cipla are:

Tenvir -EM

Tenvir-EM contains two drugs: tenofovir 300 mg and emcitrabine 200 mg. 

Infections caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are treated with tenofovir in combination with other antiviral medications. It may also be applied in extremely few instances of chronic liver infections brought on by the hepatitis B virus.

Tenofovir is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, which is a kind of antiviral medication (NRTIs). Its structure is similar to the natural structure of viral DNA, which facilitates its integration into viral DNA. By doing this, it inhibits the activity of the vital viral enzyme reverse transcriptase, making the virus unable to survive and make more viruses. 

Tenvir EM is available as tablets containing 500mg packed into 30tablets per pack. 


Synthivan is a combination of two anti-HIV medications: Atazanavir and Ritonavir. They work by preventing an enzyme (protease) that HIV-infected cells need to produce new viruses. This prevents the development of new viruses.

Synthivan is available in containers containing 30 capsules of the said drug. Each capsule contains Atazanavir (300mg) + Ritonavir (100mg). 


Duovir contains two antiretroviral drugs lamivudine and zidovudine. Each tablet contains Lamivudine (150mg) and Zidovudine (300mg). 

It increases immunity to combat HIV to manage or treat AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

The Duovir Tablet only works to reduce the amount of HIV in the body; it does not treat HIV or AIDS. This drug helps to lengthen the lifespan and lowers the chance of HIV-related illnesses. It is prescribed alongside other HIV medications. 


Since 1984, Cipla has expanded its anti-cancer portfolio, and today they have more than 32 drugs that treat various types of cancer. Cipla was the first country in India to introduce the drugs vincristine and vinblastine in the year 1984. Cipla was the first company in India to receive US FDA approval for their cancer product production facility.

Cipla has also created and manufactured several nanotechnology-based cancer treatments, including paclitaxel injection. The objective is to reduce unintended toxicity, enhance patient compliance, and produce favourable clinical results.

Here are some of the anti-cancer drugs produced by Cipla. 


Cytoblastin contains the drug vinblastine. Testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and other cancers can all be treated with cytoplasmic, an anti-microtubule medication. It hinders or halts the development of cancer cells within the body.

It is available as a 10mg injection and it blocks the replication of genetic material (DNA) in the cancer cells, stopping their growth and multiplication. 


Bleocip 15 IU Injection is used to treat cancer in different regions of the body, including the larynx, oesophagus, skin, nasopharynx, and paranasal sinuses. It contains 15U of the drug bleomycin. 

 It functions by preventing the development of cancer cells, which are subsequently eliminated.

Bleocip injection can be used either by itself or in addition to other medications as a combination therapy. It is administered under the direction of a medical practitioner and should not be done at home.

Bleocip works by causing damage to the genetic material (DNA) of the cancer cells and stopping their growth and multiplication.


Cytoplatin contains the drug cisplatin. 10mg of Cytoplatin is used in the treatment of ovarian, cervical, and testicular malignancies. It functions by halting or reducing the body’s production of cancer cells. It harms the cancer cell’s DNA and RNA, which prevents further growth and division of the cancer cells.

Cytoplatin must only be used under the supervision of the medical practitioner and must never be taken alone. 

Cipla Review: Comparing The Good & The Bad

Cipla is one of the oldest running pharmaceutical companies in India. It has achieved many great things and produced high-quality medications. It has also been making a wide range of products for the treatment of various conditions. 

However, there is a lack of significant presence of this drug company in developed countries. Cipla mainly depends on the Indian market. Besides this, over the past few years, Cipla’s anti-HIV medications seem to be getting more expensive making them unaffordable for the general public to use. 

Hence, it may help Cipla to tackle these problems to grow well as a model pharmaceutical company. 







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