Tuesday, March 22, 2005

LS passes Patents Bill

A key development in India's commitment to the World Trade Organization - the Patents Bil was passed by the Lok Sabha today. This has far reaching implications for Indian industry - particularly in the areas of pharmaceuticals, agriculture and software. The indian pharmaceutical industry, long protected by the Indian Patent Act of 1970 - which did not recognize product patents for drugs, has now been exposed to open competition from the heavyweights of the world. Hopefully, a 30 year cushion was sufficient to be able to compete in the intensely competitive pharma market.

7 comments:

Balai said...

Although this is good for the devpmnt of Indian Pharma and India's trade commitments ....the thought of several third world countries losing out on cheaper AIDS drugs is pitiable. But the final version did cut down the damage it could have otherwise caused. This article in NYT summed it up nicely http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/23/health/23cnd-aids.html

Parag said...

Everyone just keeps talking about AIDS, but, it is not the biggest killer in the world. There are other diseases that claim more victims. One of the big ones is Malaria. Western countries don't care about it because it doesn't affect their population. The patent bill will provide an incentive for an Indian pharma to come up with a malaria drug that is more effective than current ones that are available in the market.

Aditya said...

parag: another way to look at it is that indian pharma companies will now be forced to invest in drug discovery. The biggies such as Ranbaxy and Reddy Labs are already doing so - they might need to up their efforts in this regard.

balaji: one of the main reasons why indian pharma companies can churn out low cost medicines was the fact thta they never had to spend a dime discovering a drug. all they did was take the drug discovered by whichever company, and re-engineer the process (process development, the indians are second to none i think), as a result they are making the same drug with a better process at a fraction of the cost. they do not have to recover the billions of dollars it cost to discover the drugs. its a good thing for the poor folks of the world - but if you are a Pfizer or Merck or Novartis ... its highway robbery.

Balai said...

Aditya: Ya I agree that...this is going to propell research in the area of drug discovery in India.I just hope that we have a replication of what happened to Indian Space pgm. Our Space pgm made giant leaps just because, they were forced into R&D. Also we have used this "patent process" to our advantage in the last 40 so years...to improve heathcare and related issues. So I guess its time for us to repay all these pharma biggies.

Parag: Nice observation.

Balai said...
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Balai said...
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Balai said...
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