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Archived updates for Monday, December 27, 2004

India Amends Patent Law to Cover Products

The Economic Times reported on December 27, 2004 that an amendment to the Indian patent law was made through a presidential decree issued on Sunday currently in order to allow for patents on drugs, and other products, in addition to existing protection of processes. Under the Indian Constitution, the ordinance will lapse after six months if it is not ratified by Parliament within that period. However, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath reportedly said that he was confident of securing parliament's approval for the patent amendments in the budget session of parliament in February.

According to an analysis from the Associated Press, India is the world's fourth-largest drug market in volume, and drugs often cost 7 percent to 10 percent of what they do in the West. That's been a boon to the country's poor some 400 million Indians live on less than $1 a day but it has kept many foreign companies from investing in new medicines here.
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