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India pledges new low-cost drugs to developing nations

Eighty-seven developing countries and  their entire health care system is supported by Indian medicines. According to this article, India has become the pharmacy of the world: the largest maker of finished generics and biggest exports are to the US.

Reading this brings out feelings pride and dismay at the same time in me. If we have the capacity and the resources to become “the pharmacy of the world”, how is that (as we ask in our exclusive interviews) we have so many un-immunised children in India or people struggling for pay for health care treatments? Before pledging to other nations, should our first and foremost priority not be to put in all our resources towards providing the most basic vaccination to all our children?

Going back to this article, it says that US has put pressure on India to increase its intellectual property rights (IPR) protection beyond the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has initiated a probe against India’s domestic trade and investment policies, particularly intellectual property, or patent laws.India’s patent laws do include provisions to ensure that intellectual property rights do not hinder the government taking measures for promoting public health. This includes making life saving medicines available at affordable rates. But, again to how many?

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