The "grand old man" of the India's pharmaceutical industry, Cipla's CEO Yusuf Hamied, says India should be like Canada when it comes to drug patents. Hamied says that India should issue compulsory licenses so the India pharma can make cheap drugs available to the masses in developing coountries. He says Canada's system of paying a 4% royalty for this type of license should work fine.
"It is important to have a compulsory licensing system. In fact, I am in favour of obligatory licensing where we don't mind paying royalties to the patent holder but at least Indian companies should be able to manufacture and market essential drugs to make them more accessible in the Third World," said Hamied, "What is good enough for the Canadians, should be good enough for the Indians."
Hamied has personal history on his side. Hamied is credited with making anti-AIDS drugs available in developing countries at a fraction of the cost charged by multinationals. He set the global health community abuzz a decade ago when he said he could produce cocktails of AIDS medicines for a dollar per day, and that price has since fallen to 20 cents a day.
"It is time India takes its correct position in healthcare because our policies will affect millions, not only in India but in the rest of the developing world." The gauntlet is down and the challenge is out there. See Economic Times.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Aug 19th 2013.