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Indian Innovation at Crossroads? (India)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Between 1999-2004, over 100 foreign companies have established research and development (R&D) centers in India to complement India's more than 250 research universities and 1,500 national R&D centers, reports Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, director general of India's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). India's eventual adherence to the international TRIPS agreement patent protections, or deviation from it, certainly will affect the ability of pharmaceutical companies in India to do business globally, argues Prof. Trevor M. Jones of King's College, University of London. For instance, a new Indian law contains a clause called "Clause 3d" which excludes certain inventions from TRIPS-like protection (codified in TRIPS Article 27), such as "salts, esters, ethers, polymorphs, metabolites, pure form, particle size, isomers, mixtures of isomers, complexes, combinations and other derivatives of known substances," writes Prof. Jones. At the same time India this year moved to align its patent laws with World Health Organization standards, and according to Dr. Swati A. Piramal, Indian pharmaceutical companies are looking to compete globally with legal generics, rather than continue to copy brand-name drugs without permission. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories CEO G. V. Prasad notes that today 75 percent of the world's top 50 global drug companies have R&D hubs in India. "The next area to develop in the country will be pre-clinical and early-phase discovery," he says. (Click here for more
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