[Ip-health] News: yahoo.com- NGOs to PM: Don't sacrifice interests of Indian consumers, pharma industry
Marine at haieurope.org
Thu Nov 4 03:10:27 PDT 2010
NGOs to PM: Don't sacrifice interests of Indian consumers, pharma
Thu, Nov 4 05:47 AM
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, more than a dozen civil society
experts belonging to various health NGOs have said that if the demands
of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) are
met, the self-reliant India pharma industry and consumers will be hit.
The letter states that the US-based PhRMA delegation is in India to
discourage the government from applying FDI caps in the pharma sector
and from issuing compulsory licenses for patented medicines.
The NGOs have appealed to the government not to succumb to pressure from
US-based companies and the US government. Experts including Dr Amit
Sengupta, Dr Mira Shiva, S Srinivasan, Dr C M Gulhati, Dr Anant Phadke,
Dr Gopal Dabade, Loon Gangte, Amitava Guha, Dr B Ekbal, Prabir
Purkayastha, , Leena Menghaney, and K M Gopakumar and others pointed out
that the immediate cause of concern was the takeover of important Indian
companies by MNCs.
The last four years have seen six major acquisitions of Indian
companies. There have been several tie-ups between MNCs and domestic
companies. In 1998-99 of the 10 largest drug companies in India, only
one (Glaxo Smith Kline) was a foreign company, today three of the top
ten companies are foreign owned (Ranbaxy, Glaxo Smith Kline and
Piramal), said Dr Anant Phadke of the Jan Arogya Abhiyan.
The experts pointed out that India is the largest supplier of low-priced
anti-retrovirals and exports medicines to over 200 countries. At the
same time the WHO has reported that about 68 crore people don't have
access to essential medicines. The letter suggests some concrete policy
measures " to rescue India from the opprobrium of being home to the
largest number of people without access to essential medicines"
Phadke Dr Abhay Shukla, Anand Pawar and others of SATHI-CEHAT pointed
out that there was a need for the liberal use of the compulsory license
(CL) provisions of the Indian Patents Act to secure access to patented
medicines and therefore lower costs of medicines.
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