Indian pharma faces MNC onslaught
The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI), an industry body of multinational (MNC) drugmakers, said there was a fundamental lack of understanding among domestic pharma companies that plan to oppose granting of patents in India for known drugs.
"There are examples wherein Indian pharmaceutical companies are applying for patents based on incremental innovations in third markets like the US and Europe," OPPI President Ranjit Shahani said.
He was commenting on the recent move by the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), an industry body of domestic drugmakers, to oppose all drug patent applications filed after October 2009.
IPA had said many of the patent claims made by multinationals do not necessarily enhance the efficacy of previously known drugs.
Rather, the MNCs were doing so only to extend the period of patent, commonly known as ever-greening, by tweaking the molecules a bit, terming them as frivolous.
Shahani, however, disagreed with the claims made by IPA. "The statement demonstrates once again the fundamental lack of understanding about the role of patents and how new medicines are brought to patients around the world and in India," he said.
Many a times the second, third or later generation medicines are the ones that provide more appropriate therapeutic benefits with fewer side effects, he added.
OPPI, whose members include Novartis, Eli Lily, Merck,
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