[Ip-health] News: Financial Express- Strong IPR rules must to bring funds: Big Pharma

Marine Avrillon Marine at haieurope.org
Thu Oct 28 06:26:38 PDT 2010

Strong IPR rules must to bring funds: Big Pharma

Posted: Saturday, Oct 23, 2010 at 0157 hrs IST

Updated: Saturday, Oct 23, 2010 at 0306 hrs IST



New Delhi: With around a fortnight to go before President begins his
visit to India, US-based pharma giants have warned that New Delhi could
lose out in the acute global competition in attracting investment from
them if the country refuses to strengthen regulatory protection for
patented drugs. 


The top brass of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
(PhRMA), the industry body that represents interests of the Big Pharma,
also expressed their concern over India's judicial delays in settling
cases related to intellectual property rights (IPR), before they began a
series of meetings with senior government functionaries here on Friday. 


PhRMA members have invested over $45.8 billion in drug R&D process
globally in 2009, 70% of total worldwide investments in the area during
the year. Frontline companies like Pfizer, Glaxo-SmithKline, Novartis,
Merck & Co, Johnson & Johnson, Genzyme and Sanofi Aventis, Abbott and
Eli Lilly are part of this lobby group. 


Stating that uncertainty over the fate of patented drugs caused by
judicial delays was frustrating, Chris Singer, president, international
section, PhRMA, said, "... the truth is that investments of US pharma
companies with a focus on R&D and their decision to launch many of the
patented drugs in the Indian drug market are intrinsically related to
how well their patents are protected here." He added that since only
less than 1% of all drugs in the Indian market are patented, there was
no case for India to be over-cautious. 


PhRMA deputy vice-president Nancy Adams said there is acute global
competition to attract investment from US pharma companies. "Countries
are literally knocking our doors to woo investments. There is Singapore,
China, Brazil and many European countries which are very aggressively
promoting their countries as attractive destinations for investment,"
she said. 


However, said Adams, drug firms do weigh a lot of different factors
including the policy atmosphere around intellectual property rights.
"India has great manufacturing capacities and capabilities as well as
high quality scientific talent. It is in India's hands to encourage the
right policy environment to attract the investment," she said. 


"Less than 1% of all medicines in Indian drug market are patented. Not a
single medicine on India's essential drug list is patented. However,
according to the World Health Organisation, only 20% of the country can
afford even those off-patent medicines. So, we do not believe that
patents undermine access to medicine in any way in India," Singer added.


However, Singer added that PhRMA makes a clear distinction between
'counterfeit' and 'generic' drugs. "We are absolutely clear that the
issue of patent should be excluded from the definition of 'counterfeit
drugs'. While generic drugs would have undergone a regulatory approval
system and hence would have a valid stamp of quality, counterfeit drugs
do not go through any quality check which is an integral part of any
regulatory approval system."...



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