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      Patent regime changed pharma sector in 2005

      Posted AtSify.com

      India entered the product patents regime from January 2005 with the enactment of the Patents (Amendment) Act of 2005, thus heralding a new era in the country's pharmaceutical sector, which has been pegged to attain a size of $25 billion by 2010.The new patent regime raised apprehensions that drug prices might go out of reach of the common man but the government tried to come up with a new pharmaceutical policy as an attempt to allay these fears.

      The enactment of the Patents Amendment Act meant that the decades-old exclusion of product patent in drugs became history, and along with it came the reality that Indian companies could no longer copy drugs through reverse engineering to make generic copies.

      Although the new regime led to a change in the mindset of Indian pharma companies, it also a brought a divide among the small companies, who are mainly generic players and a few bigger ones, who have geared up for innovation-led strategy.

      In the past, only a handful of Indian companies (like Dr Reddy's) have embarked on serious research and development effort and that too not with any great success. The patenting business was new to many generic players.While the bigger companies decided to focus on R&D, for the smaller ones it was time to shift their strategies to be collaborators, marketing arms and licensed manufacturers to the innovators.

      Some research and development oriented companies supported the new regime stating that in the long term the country would benefit, as it would encourage drug development here.]>

      December 20, 2005


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