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19 May 2014

India's IPR decisions have hit pharma sector the most, says John J Castellani, CEO

India's IPR decisions have hit pharma sector the most, says John J Castellani, CEO, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

 

The current system for intellectual property protection provides the necessary incentives for innovators in all fields of technology to devote time and resources in creating the next generation of products and services for the global economy. 


The current system for intellectual property protection provides the necessary incentives for innovators in all fields of technology to devote time and resources in creating the next generation of products and services for the global economy. 
 

India's intellectual property rights related decisions have affected the biopharma industry much more than the other sectors, says John J Castellani, CEO, PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America), a group of US-based drugmakers. In an e-mail interview, Castellani tells ET's Soma Das that PhRMA members want strong patent laws in India. Excerpts:

What are your reservations regarding India's IPR policies?

Effective patent protection is necessary for continued investments in innovative lifesaving drugs. All World Trade Organisation members have committed to ensuring favourable policy environment that supports continued research for new medicines through a system of patents. If countries show scant respect for IP protection, the future of new medicines is at risk, because incentives for the research-based pharmaceutical industry to invest over $ 1 billion and 10-15 years in the development of a single new medicine will be undermined. To truly improve access to medicines in India, we will need to continue to work together to advance sustainable policy solutions to healthcare financing, infrastructure, and human resources challenges, among others, rather than focus on compulsory licences or other ways of undermining patent protection of innovative medicines.

Are US businesses divided on the issue of India's IPR policy, since Honeywell International and Boeing, in their testimonies to the US government, have backed the IPR environment in India?

The current system for intellectual property protection provides the necessary incentives for innovators in all fields of technology to devote time and resources in creating the next generation of products and services for the global economy. That said, negative IP decisions in India have targeted the innovative biopharmaceutical industry far greater than other sectors.

Abbott, the largest drugmaker in India by market share, has also told the US government that it is not facing any significant challenges in India on IPR issues. Do the Big Pharma companies differ on the magnitude of challenge that India's IPR regime poses?

While Abbott is not a member of PhRMA, their response to the USITC is in the public domain and states: "The Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement provides an important framework for that protection and it is important that all World Trade Organisation members meet their obligations under TRIPS. Abbott is not currently facing any significant challenges with respect to intellectual property protection in India." We don't see any dissonance in this view.

India's pharma industry believes Pfizer is getting isolated in its campaign against India's IPR policies. What are your views?

All our member companies believe that strong patent laws will encourage and sustain innovation in the research-based and technology-intensive pharmaceuticals industry. Pfizer, like our other member companies, remains committed to collaborating with the Indian government and other stakeholders to find sustainable solutions that address the need for more accessible medicines, within a robust IP environment.

Source: Economic Times

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/indias-ipr-decisions-have-hit-pharma-sector-the-most-says-john-j-castellani-ceo-pharmaceutical-research-and-manufacturers-of-america/articleshow/35358604.cms

 

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