US Pharma Sector Welcomes India's Intellectual Property Policy

06/05/2015 9:57 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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WASHINGTON — The US pharma sector has welcomed India's recent moves on intellectual property, including bringing out a draft policy and sustained engagement, while regretting the consistent barriers posed by the country's pharma sector to US companies.

Acknowledging the "measured and cautious approach" of India in responding to recent requests for compulsory licenses and the successes some companies in enforcing their patents in at the preliminary injunction stage, representative of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America told members of the US International Trade Commission yesterday that barriers remain.

"Despite these potentially positive signs and sustained industry engagement, PhRMA and its member companies remain negatively impacted by India's barriers to US trade and investment, including its failure to respect IP rights", said Amiee Aloi, associate vice president, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

The innovative biopharmaceutical industry's pursuit of secure intellectual property (IP) protections - consistently enforced - aligns with Prime Minister Modi's goals of bringing growth to India through research, innovation and manufacturing, he said.

"The Modi Government has also emphasised predictable decision-making, implementation of political commitments, transparency, and good governance - all factors that are consistent with a rules-based government open to dialogue and problem solving in partnership with stakeholders," he added.

At the same time significant unpredictability in IP protection and enforcement in India remain as no progress has been made in terms of meaningful policy change to address the challenges faced by the innovative biopharmaceutical industry in India or in tackling the true barriers to patient access to new medicines, Aloi said.

"On the contrary, four new examples of negative IP decisions in India have been added to the list of roughly twenty products that have had their patent rights undermined in India over the last few years", he said.

Changes are afoot in the country, with new administration and positive indicators that the government recognises intellectual property as an important element of India's overall economic future, said Michael Schlesinger of International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA).

"These changes should translate into significant new market opportunities for right holders", Schlesinger said.

Copyright piracy, regulatory barriers, and market access barriers inhibit the continued growth of domestic and foreign copyright stakeholders in India, he added.

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