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India's product patent protection regime: Less or more of "pills for the poor"?

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  • Gehl Sampath, Padmashree

    () (United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology)

Abstract

The year 2005 marks the end of transition period for many developing countries with competent pharmaceutical sectors that competed in supplying generic versions of patented drugs to LDCs before, thereby inducing price competition and enhancing access to medicines. In a post-2005 scenario, the critical issue is whether LDCs without adequate manufacturing capabilities can make use of compulsory licensing expeditiously to induce price competition and secure lower prices. This paper uses empirical evidence collected during a firm-level survey of the Indian pharmaceutical sector to generate evidence on emerging strategies of firms. It shows that the vigour of compulsory licensing as a price-leveraging instrument post-2005 is incumbent mainly on its economic feasibility. It shows that Indian firms view the market potential (in terms of market size and profits involved in such supply, especially if they have to make specific technological investments to produce the drug) of the mechanism much more severely than before, and may be less inclined to engage in such production if their commercial expectations are grossly unmet. The analysis assesses implications of emerging strategies of firms in the Indian pharmaceutical sector for access to medicines both domestically and internationally, and highlights the challenges involved.

Suggested Citation

  • Gehl Sampath, Padmashree, 2006. "India's product patent protection regime: Less or more of "pills for the poor"?," MERIT Working Papers 019, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2006019
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2006/wp2006-019.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lanjouw, J.O., 1997. "The Introduction of Pharmaceutical Product Patents in India: "Heartless Exploitation of the Poor and Suffering"?," Papers 775, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    2. Duncan Matthews, 2004. "Wto Decision On Implementation Of Paragraph 6 Of The Doha Declaration On The Trips Agreement And Public Health: A Solution To The Access To Essential Medicines Problem?," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 73-107, March.
    3. Peter J. Hammer, 2002. "Differential Pricing of Essential AIDS Drugs: Markets, Politics and Public Health," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(4), pages 883-912, December.
    4. Susan E Feinberg & Sumit K Majumdar, 2001. "Technology Spillovers from Foreign Direct Investment in the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(3), pages 421-437, September.
    5. Ramani, Shyama V., 2002. "Who is interested in biotech? R&D strategies, knowledge base and market sales of Indian biopharmaceutical firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 381-398, March.
    6. Srinivas, Smita, 2006. "Industrial Development and Innovation: Some Lessons from Vaccine Procurement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1742-1764, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anil Nair & Orhun Guldiken & Stav Fainshmidt & Amir Pezeshkan, 2015. "Innovation in India: A review of past research and future directions," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 925-958, December.
    2. Gehl Sampath, Padmashree, 2006. "Indian Pharma Within Global Reach?," MERIT Working Papers 031, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    product patents; Indian pharmaceuticals; generics; access;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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