From outlier to trendsetter

The world’s brand-name drug makers have long viewed India as their problem child for delaying compliance with international property rights law while serving as the developing world’s pharmacy for generic drugs.

Although India eventually agreed to comply with the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual  Property Rights (TRIPs), it made it clear that it fully intended to use a provision of international law that allows for the so-called “compulsory licensing” of generic drugs that are the therapeutic equivalents of their patented counterparts in the interests of ensuring the poor and disadvantaged have access to drugs (www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.109-3898).

That day has come as India has issued its first patent compulsory licensing order, for the kidney/liver cancer drug sorafenib,           and started a deep ripple in the global pharmaceutical pond. China, the target market of many brand-name drug makers, quickly   amended its intellectual property law to allow for the compulsory licensing of generic drugs “for reasons of public health.”           Argentina and the Philippines have indicated they’ll soon do the same, while in other nations, such as Malaysia, local groups         are pressing the government to grant a compulsory licence to a second-line antiretroviral used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

 Read More at : Canadian Medical Association Journal

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