29 Jan 2015
India should continue to champion its thriving pharmaceuticals industry
India is the world’s largest exporter of generic medicines, for example providing more than 85 per cent of generic treatment for HIV/Aids in the developing world. These cost a fraction of the brand-name drugs produced by multinational pharmaceutical companies. India should continue to champion its thriving pharmaceutical sector, rather than cave to US pressure for unnecessary reforms to Indian intellectual property laws that allow these lifesaving medicines to be produced and licensed.
Sir, President Barack Obama’s visit to Delhi saw the US and India pledge to resume talks on a bilateral investment treaty. Bilateral co-operation is always welcome. However, the treaty risks serious adverse effects for millions of people in India and around the world who rely on safe, efficacious, quality, affordable Indian-made generic medicines.
There is no strong evidence that India’s IP laws are obstacles to innovation or investment. Resisting US efforts to stamp out Indian competition in the pharmaceutical sector will boost the health of India’s economy and of patients around the world.
Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health