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Archived updates for Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Indian Generic Drugs will Continue to Thrive?

Mustafa Safiyuddin and Ajay Shaw write in a January 27, 2005 article that generic drug manufacturers in India should not have any immediate worries arising from India's new patent regime for pharmaceutical products. The answer appears to be in the negative - the generic drug manufacturers are here to stay. There are three reasons for this:
Firstly, majority of the drugs manufactured in India are off patents or are not patentable in India for lack of novelty. Secondly, several ‘mail box’ applications have been filed prior to January 1, 2005 for the grant of pharmaceutical product patents. Examination or processing thereof is to commence only now, i.e., from the beginning of 2005. However, the Indian Patent Office lacks sufficient resources to process them expeditiously. The problem of a huge backlog of pending mailbox applications is likely to multiply with the expected increase in patent filings under the new regime. Thirdly, there are sufficient provisions in the amended patent law which will facilitate generic drug manufacturers to continue to thrive, at least for some years to come.

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