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India remains on US trade “priority watch list” for failing to uphold international drug company patents

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 08 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2949
  1. Sophie Arie
  1. 1London

The US government has said that it is seriously concerned about recent rulings in India on drug patenting that have favoured the country’s generics industry over international drug companies.

In its annual report on intellectual property protection by trading partners, the Office of the US Trade Representative has kept India on its “priority watch list,” citing recent decisions by Indian courts to deny international companies exclusive rights over anticancer drugs that they had developed. The report also said that India had made limited progress in 2012 in improving its weak legal framework on intellectual property rights and the enforcement system.1

Earlier this year India’s Supreme Court ruled that the Swiss company Novartis was not entitled to a patent on its drug imatinib mesilate (which …

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