India’s New Patent Policy Spurs Debate Over Implications for Pharma

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Amid an ongoing rift with the US government, India last week issued a new policy about intellectual property, but opinions are divided over whether the move will appease the pharmaceutical industry, which has been pushing the Indian government to strengthen patent protection.

In a 29-page statement, the Indian commerce and industry ministry said its overarching goal is to bolster intellectual property as a “marketable financial asset and economic tool,” and create a “holistic” system that provides economic growth while protecting the public interest.

The policy emerges as the Indian government faces sustained pressure over patent protection. Toward that end, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to create a working group with the United States to review intellectual property issues shortly after taking office two years ago.

The US Trade Rep, meanwhile, recently kept India on its annual list of countries it believes does not sufficiently enforce patent rights. And global brand-name drug makers complain that laws and court rulings have made it easier for their generic rivals to sell lower-cost, copycat versions of their medicines.

Source: STAT (link opens in a new window)

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