Increasing number of countries adopting Indian IP laws for drug manufacturing
New Delhi, June 22, 2012: In a bid to produce the generic versions of the popular drugs, more and more countries are now adopting India’s intellectual property (IP) laws for drug manufacturing. While many global pharma majors have not supported India in being a little too relaxed in enforcing IP laws but of late, countries like China, Argentina and Philippines are adopting similar laws. For instance, it was during the last month that China made changes to its IP laws that gave a green signal to local companies to produce low-cost versions of the patented drugs in some conditions like meeting public health needs.
As per the global pharma giants, the use of this provision should only be applicable in the case of national emergencies. Coincidentally, it was in March this year that India issued the first compulsory license to Natco which empowered the company to legally manufacture the low-cost version of the Bayer AG’s patented cancer drug – Nexavar. While a one month dosage of Nexavar could cost around Rs. 2.8 lakh ($5,033) making it unaffordable for the poor, the appeal of Bayer is still pending with the intellectual property appellate board.
Since India and China together stand for one-third of the world’s population, it is obvious that both are very critical markets for the MNCs. Realising the importance of India’s IP laws, Argentina announced new guidelines for patents, which among other things listed strict conditions that were very similar to the section 3(D) of the Indian IP Laws (which prevents patent on incremental innovations of known compounds unless they provide enhanced therapeutic efficacy). Similarly, Thailand is also willing to adopt a similar arrangement while Philippines already adopted one.