India’s Weak Patent Rights Hurt U.S. Pharma Companies

8685678According to the Global Intellectual Property Center’s IP index, India’s intellectual property environment ranks the lowest of all countries included in the index. India is in constant violation of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement, designed to ensure strong intellectual property rights on patents and copyrights in international trade. One example is their overuse of compulsory licenses, the practice of allowing India’s domestic drug companies to produce patented products without the consent of the companies that own the patents. These licenses were initially only to be used during public health emergencies under the TRIPS agreement.

Meanwhile, Indian pharmaceutical companies greatly profit on American soil. For example, Lupin Ltd. is now the market leader in 24 of the 46 products marketed in the U.S. generic drug market.  Sun Pharmaceuticals, based in Mumbai, have over 57% of sales from markets outside India, primarily in the Unites States. They market over 200 generics in the U.S., with another 150 awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Comments (10)

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  1. Buster says:

    India has a vibrant generic drug industry. The United States has a vibrant innovator drug industry. The United States should take a tougher stance on patent drugs. Whether it’s Hollywood movies or brand drug under patent, our intellectual property should be protected. The United States cannot compete on cheap labor. It can compete on innovation and the creation of intellectual property. The countries that have cheap labor cannot expect to steal our ideas and produce them for the rest of the world at cut-rate prices.

    • Walter Q. says:

      That is exactly what it is, theft of innovation. Taking that innovation and producing it cheaply cuts out the original innovator from profiting. With that, there is no incentive to create advanced goods if you can’t make back start up costs.

  2. Thomas says:

    This has been an issue between these two countries for over 20 years. You would think eventually something would have to give and these conflicts would be mended.

    • Matthew says:

      Especially since the US companies lose vast amounts of money when they are not making any profits back.

      • Bill B. says:

        But the Indian companies are thriving and not being punished, so for them what incentive is there to change, besides having a grumpy American trade partner?

        • Matthew says:

          European companies suffer too. Pretty soon they will have grumpy trading partners globally. That won’t measure well as India’s economy continues to grow.

  3. Jay says:

    Funny how they can take our ideas, then wait a few years and sell it back to us. No wonder India is content with being on the naughty list with no consequences.