Indian Pharmaceutical Patient laws endorsed by World Health Organization
March 12, 2014: The World Health Organisation has strongly endorsed India’s patent laws and no country including the United States has challenged it at the WTO claiming that the laws infringe trade related intellectual property rights, the Indian drugmakers have told the US Trade Commission.
It may be noted here that the commission is a quasi-judicial body set up by the US Congress which is investigating whether Indian policies discriminate against the American companies and is expected to submit its register later this year.
In a submission made by the Indian Pharma Alliance, the association made its point clear when the commission heard various stakeholders including the academics, industry representatives and NGOs.
The association also said that if US wants to analyse whether India is biased against the US companies, it should probe whether India complies with its global obligations under TRIPS rather than measuring the gap between the patent regimes of the two nations.
The Alliance also pointed out the fact that India and US have different economic realities and it is not fair to compare the laws of the two nations to achieve a meaningful conclusion.
For instance, 11 out of 12 drugs approved by the US regulator in 2012 to treat cancer are priced at over US$ 1,00,000 per treatment per year which is expensive for most “well off Indians” as well.
It is important to note here that Innovator firms are known for making decisions on investing in development of new drugs based on the developed markets. The Alliance pointed out the when India implemented the TRIPS agreement in 2005, three regions (Japan, Europe and North America) with just 18 per cent of world population accounted for 89 per cent of the total global pharma sales revenue.