ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Pharmaceuticals, WTO and Seattle Round

If the WTO philosophy is not to end up opening third world markets for big business at the cost of their hard earned technological capabilities, India needs to take a studied stand on several issues. Important among them is the need to ensure the inclusion of devices such as the Bolar provision and oppose the granting of exclusive marketing rights.

It is now fairly well established that    Indian drug prices at the retail level are    among the cheapest in the world. Several factors have contributed to this. But the most important ones have been price control and the process patent regime of Indian Patent Act 1970. The latter allows for process patents (called pejoratively ‘reverse engineering’ by the elite business media of India).

What is the likely impact of TRIPS regime on the strengths of Indian drug industry? This question needs to be answered from an industry point of view and from the consumer’s perspective. From the industry point of view, that is, the non-MNC, Indian point of view, it is something like this:

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