[Ip-health] News: Medical News Today- PhRMA Representatives Meet With Officials In India To Discuss Compulsory Licensing

Marine Avrillon Marine at haieurope.org
Thu Oct 28 06:41:41 PDT 2010

PhRMA Representatives Meet With Officials In India To Discuss Compulsory

26 October 2010


During a visit with government officials, industry leaders and NGOs in
India last week, representatives from Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a U.S. lobbying group that represents
the country's pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology companies,
addressed "the Indian government's proposal to allow local drugmakers to
make low-cost version of patented drugs so that they can be made
available to patients," the Economic Times reports. "Issuing compulsory
licensing is not a long-term solution and will be counterproductive,"
PhRMA Executive Vice President Christopher Singer said.


According to the article, India's "Department of Industrial Policy and
Promotion (Dipp) is exploring the possibility of issuing compulsory
licences, a provision that allows generic drug manufacturers to make
low-cost versions of patented medicines by giving royalty to the patent
holder," the newspaper reports (10/23).


"Specifying that the organisation cannot legally force its members to
lower prices of their drugs and the member companies were individually
negotiating with the respective countries, the PhRMA leaders said India
has to find a mechanism to ensure cheaper prices for drugs and their
members were ready to cooperate with the government and other agencies
for programmes like insurance coverage to make medicines affordable to
Indians," PHARMABIZ.com writes.


The news service also quotes Singer as saying, "We welcome the Patent
law of India but there are many concerns. India has to build on the law
with regard to the enforcement. It takes long time to resolve the cases
and our companies lose out largely during this period. We have asked the
government to find some way out like speedy disposal of cases or chances
of injections. The policy makers should recognise the dampening effect
of these cases," Singer said, adding, "India has the potential to emerge
as a leader in the pack, with right policies for innovation" (Alexander,


Last week, a group of NGOs and experts in India's pharmaceutical sector
expressed "deep concern over the takeover of a string of Indian pharma
companies by [multinational corporations] MNCs and also the proposed
visit of U.S.-based [Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of
America] PhRMA delegation to meet key Indian officials," PHARMABIZ.com
reports. The group has "called for the imposition of an [Foreign Direct
Investment] FDI cap of 40% in the pharma sector and for the liberal use
of the compulsory license provisions of the Indian Patents Act to secure
access to patented medicines and therefore lower the costs of
medicines," PHARMABIZ.com reports, in a separate article.


In a letter, addressed to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the
group writes, "We are strongly of the opinion that an FDI cap on foreign
ownership of pharma companies and liberal use of compulsory licenses are
two vital avenues open to India to find ways to ensure much wider access
to essential medicines to [its] citizens." The article details the
references made in the letter to India's role in the production and
distribution of medicines to other countries as well and names the
signatories to the letter (Shankar, 10/21). 


This information was reprinted from globalhealth.kff.org with kind
permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the
entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives and
sign up for email delivery at globalhealth.kff.org.




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