The Deputy Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said that India was wrong to issue a compulsory license for Nexavar 3 months ago, and that the USPTO remains committed to opposing countries from issuing such licenses.
Deputy Director Teresa Rea in testimony before the US House said that India's goverment issuance of the license did not meet international standards. She further asserted that drug companies will not market their products in countries like India or China if they persist in issuing licenses. In particular, she noted the Indian public would suffer as they will not get access to these new drugs.
"We're consistent in our efforts to stop countries from further granting these licenses," she said.
These comments will undoubtedly add fuel to the debate over the negative effects that these licenses will have on drug company innovation and they're willingness to provide access to agressive compulsory license favorable countries, versus the negative effects of high priced drug and affordability/access to patient populatins in many of these same countries. There is not a clear cut answer. The USPTO is accused of being too biased on both sides of the argument by the other side's advocates.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jul 2nd 2012.