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      Indian patent regime note stringent enough: Pfizer India chief

      Posted AtPharmaBiz

      "More and more global pharma companies will show interest to invest in India if the Central Government decides to plug the loopholes in the Indian patent rules and by dismantling the drug price control measures," noted Kewal Handa, managing director, Pfizer, India.

      Speaking at the 'ISB Healthcare & Pharma Summit 2005 - Innovations and Opportunities', a first of its kind event organised by the Healthcare Club of Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, last week, Handa noted that the Indian IP regime is not stringent and there are provisions to invoke the compulsory licensing provision at any time, instead of strictly reserving the same for national emergencies. IP laws of the country have to be aligned to global standards and there is no data exclusivity. Crippling infrastructure, insufficient capacity in terms of medical infrastructure, regulatory hurdles like Phase I trails yet to be allowed in India, lack of GCP and other global standards etc, stand against India's chances at present. However, India's strengths like cost effective manufacturing, strong IT support, quick turnaround time, skilled labour, established presence in generics, re-engineering skills and a huge untapped domestic market are sure to give India an edge over other competitors.

      Dr. Sandeep Bhattacharya, director, Sanofi-Aventis noted that the current paradigm is to look at market from the practitioners angle. Pharma companies should focus on creating a brand experience and should aim branding based on evidence based medicine.

      Dr. Ajit Dangi, secretary general, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) pointed out that currently pharma forms only 15 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure and only 1.7 per cent of GDP in India, which should have been an ideal 8-10% as recommended by WHO. Multinational companies willing to invest in India are concerned about our patentability criteria, compulsory licensing, pre-post grant opposition, data protection, lack of dedicated IP courts in India etc.

      Ajit Rangnekar, deputy dean, ISB, inaugurated the event and Dr.Pratap Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals, delivered the keynote address through videoconferencing. Sangita Reddy, MD, Apollo Health Street spoke on 'innovations and success stories in telemedicine'. Analjit Singh, chairman, Max India Limited, spoke on the subject 'Changing Healthcare needs - Customer or Patient' through video conference and Alok Mishra, managing director, J&J Medical spoke on 'medical device innovation'.

      J.Rajagopal, EVP, TCS presented a paper on uses of IT as a strategic differentiator in pharma and healthcare. Dilip Jha, SVP, Satyam, Mohan Narayanan, VP, Cognizant and Prem Kalliath, partner, Accenture, elaborated on various topics related to use of IT and consulting for the healthcare and pharma industries.

      According to Dr. Harsh Vardhan Sharma, president, healthcare club, ISB, the club has been actively organising speaker series talks, seminars and workshops in the recent past. The event was organised to provide a platform for the industry practitioners to present their views on the challenging opportunities that await management professionals in the field of healthcare.

      November 30, 2005


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