India is ready to throw down the gauntlet with the EU over a generic drug dispute that began in November 2009 when Dutch authorities seized a shipment from India bound for Brazil. Since then a resolution has
been hard to come by as reported by Reuters. India says it is ready to file with the World Trade Organization if an "amicable" settlement can't be reached.The seizures in question involve generic drugs not under patent any longer in India or to the destination country. The seizures occured in European countries through which the drugs were being transported purportedly in response to complaints by EU manufacturers.
India and Brazil feel mistreated by "rich nations" as two developing countries with rapidly growing markets - and not by coincidence burgeoning generic drug industries. India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Ranbaxy Laboratories are among two of the fastest growing generic drug producers in the world. Some Medical Advocacy groups side with the emerging countries as they fear the disputes could lead to lack of access of drug's for poor nations.
The EU and India have been in trade negotiations since 2007. Trade between the two currently stands at 78 B euros and could mean another $9 B in exports for India if the two could ink a formal agreement. The US, crucial to any final deal, wants to see emerging nations like India and China open their markets to the West. The US is being looked to by participants to drive the negoitation to a conclusion. Stay tuned.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 31st 2010.