Apropos the article “The myth of coalition compulsions (May 3), it is misleading of Ravi Shanker Kapoor to say compulsory licensing for pharmaceutical products is restrictive. It is, in fact, just the opposite. Here is what the Brides Weekly Trade News Digest of March 14 says on the subject.
“In a landmark move, the Indian Patent Office announced on Monday that it has issued its first compulsory license to a domestic generic drug-maker. The decision effectively ends German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG’s monopoly over an anti-cancer drug and authorizes the production of a low-cost version for the Indian market. …
“New Delhi’s decision may pave the way for other Indian generic producers to ask for compulsory licenses on patent-protected medicines if the right-holders fail to supply the products at affordable prices and in sufficient quantities.
“ ‘The drug is exorbitantly priced and out of reach of most of the people,’ the patent authority wrote in its 62-page decision. “The product in question is not a luxury item but a lifesaving drug… . In the present case, even 1 percent of the public doesn’t derive benefit of the patented drug’.”
So, it is a highly liberalised and pro-people policy for which the government should be congratulated.
Sukumar Mukhopadhyay New Delhi
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