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Taking legal advice on EU's medicine ban: Commerce Secretary

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India is seeking “legal advice” to deal with the recent ban imposed by the European Union (EU) on 700 medicines clinically tested by GVK Biosciences, a top official said.

“We are certainly exploring what are the options for India. We are taking legal advice... We will take a call on this to move forward,” Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia told PTI.

The largest EU-wide suspension of sales and distribution of generic drugs ordered by the European Commission, has already come into effect and will be applicable to all 28 member nations, according to Germany’s drug regulator, the Federal Institute for Medicines and Medical Products.

Peeved at the move, India has already deferred talks with the EU on the proposed free trade agreement. India-EU trade talks, launched in June 2007, remain stuck as both sides are not satisfied with each other’s offers.

Teaotia added India also has the option to use a global framework to resolve the issue. The EU has banned the marketing of around 700 generic medicines for alleged manipulation of clinical trials conducted by the Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences.

Industry body Pharmexcil pegs India’s business loss from the EU ban at around $1.2 billion.

The pharmaceutical sector, which contributes over $20 billion in India, is facing a lot of regulatory issues in several developed countries, including the US.

In 2014-15, India’s pharmaceuticals exports grew 2.63 per cent to $15.34 billion.

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First Published: Mon, August 24 2015. 00:06 IST