Story of CIPLA founder Hamied who saved many lives

New Delhi: Story of CIPLA founder Khwaja Abdul Hamied can be an inspiration for the persons who want to help the poor.

Early life of CIPLA founder

In the 1920s, there was a craze for the lawyer profession in India. Although Hamied’s father too wanted him to become barrister, he was interested in chemistry.

Following his father’s instruction, he boarded a ship from Bombay to the United Kingdom to become a barrister. However, somehow, he reached Germany, a country that was leading in the study of chemistry and chemicals during those times.

In Germany, he acquired a degree and later married a German Jew. Both of them managed to escape from Germany before they were caught by Adolf Hitler.


After reaching India, he set up the Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratories in 1935.

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Hamied who was the fan of Mahatma Gandhi and India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru started producing low-priced generic medicines for malaria, tuberculosis, diabetes, etc.

In 1970, the pharmaceutical laboratory produced a drug, Propranolol that was used to treat blood pressure, migraines, heart ailments, etc. However, as the drug was patient by a pharmaceutical company in New York, the US complaint to the Indian government.

After receiving the complaint, the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi sought a reply from Khwaja Hamied’s son, Yusuf Hamied who had started running the company.

Indira Gandhi rejected command given by US

When Yusuf told the story of his father and the moto of the company which is nothing but to make high-quality medicine available for poor, Mrs. Gandhi rejected the command given by the US to stop the production of the drug.

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She had also passed patent law so that low-priced generic medicine can be made available to the poor.

After the enactment of the law, CIPLA produced low-priced drugs for the treatment of HIV patients.


Later, the company started producing a drug, hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

It may be mentioned that currently, almost all countries are using the drug to treat COVID-19 patients.

Imagine, where coronavirus affected countries like US, UK, Israel, France, Spain etc.would have been today if Khwaja Hamied and his wife had been caught in Germany.

Khwaja Hamied rejected Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s offer

At the time of partition of India, Mohammed Ali Jinnah had asked Khwaja Hamied to move to Pakistan. However, he decided to stay in India.

Amid coronavirus outbreak in India, some of the extremists are blaming the entire Muslim community for the mistake of a few. They must not forget that if there are a few Muslims who are responsible for the mistake, there are also many Muslims like Hamied who want to help others irrespective of their religion.

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