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IJMPS. 2014; 5(1): 10-16


INDIAN PHARMACEUTICAL RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT AFTER TWENTY YEARS INTO SIGNING TRIPS AGREEMENT: A REVIEW

Ravindran Kanningat, D. Henry Babu.

Abstract
India has signed the agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) way back in 1 January 1995.
It is now almost twenty years after signing the TRIPS agreement. According to the agreement all World Trade Organization
(WTO) member countries must follow intellectual property rights regulation on inventions whether process or products, in all
fields of technology, without any discrimination [1]. India was allowed a transition period of ten year from 1995 to 2005 as part
of harmonization process to switch over from the then existing process patent to product patent. As a result India’s Intellectual
Property Rights (IPR) act 1970 has undergone three amendments in March 1999, June 2002 and April 2005 to comply with
TRIPS principles.
The new IPR Act 2005 has transformed the pharmaceutical industry from process patent to product patent, so also extended the
product patent protection term from seven to twenty years. Besides this, the burden of proof of the process used in developing
a drug now shifts to the defending company. The new product patent policy has become a challenge for Indian pharmaceutical
companies. Companies have to invest heavily on the discovery of new drug molecules now as they can no longer use the
process patent protection to re-engineer patented drugs. This has put enormous pressure on Indian pharmaceutical companies
to remain innovative by investing in new drug research & development (R&D) for their own survival and growth. However, the
research finds that there is no significant R&D investment from Indian pharmaceutical companies to promote new drug molecule
research despite twenty years into signing TRIPS agreement. The question now is “when will India get the pills?”

Key words: Pharmaceutical companies, TRIPS agreement, R&D investment



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