Indian Pharmacy Industry Could Face U.S. Sanctions
- The US government might designate India with the status of PFC or Priority Foreign Country, which is expected to improve the trade relationship between both the countries. Even ‘Foreign Country Watch List’ can be imposed for inviting the unilateral trade sanctions.
- Various pharmaceutical companies are expected to be on the list. Indian domestic companies generally face issues related to the granting of CL or compulsory licenses. Under section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970 government can refuse issuing permanent licenses to few of the established MNC’s.
- Many companies that have been operational for more than 20 years now are now closing down, due to the non renewal of the patents by the government. They are looking for other ways to obtain new licenses for manufacturing new products, which can be done through ‘evergreening’ the patent.
- Patenting application by Bayer and Novartis, for manufacturing cancer drugs was rejected. The company has stated that they will stop the R&D spending in India.
- There will be a public hearing in Washington, DC on the investigation conducted by United States International Trade Commission. This investigation by USITC is called, “Trade, investment and industrial policies in India: Effects on the U.S. economy”.
- Established companies and associations like NASSCOM, IPA and some of the public interest groups will be appearing before it. The ‘Doctors without Borders’ group will also be present.
- Indian government, despite of receiving threats of sanctions, has been actively taking on multinational companies. After the implementation of TRIPS or Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, in the year 2005, more than 1500 patents were issued. Majority of the licenses were granted to 9 top global pharmaceutical companies.
- More than 90 percent of the drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS are manufactured by companies that have compulsory licenses. These drugs are exported to many developing countries.
- Approximately 30 percent of India’s pharmaceutical products are exported to the United States of America. This percentage is increasing at a rate of 18-20 percent per annum.
- The major losers will be the US and UK consumers.
- Indian Patent Act