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India pharma: India to extend its global presence on pharmaceutical market with BRICS plus membership


The VIII International Conference “Antimonopoly Policy: Science, Practice, Education” held on November 30th – Dec 1st at the Skolkovo Innovation Center in Moscow was the last meeting of the BRICS countries before turning into BRICS plus next year when new members will join the organization. The conference focused on the implementation of the constitutional principles of protection of competition both in legislation and in enforcement practices on pharmaceutical market. Representatives of the Indian antitrust authorities as well as research institutions’ representatives has expressed their intent to support the competition laws enforcement in a field information disclosure and patent regulation towards the global pharmaceutical monopolies.

Mrudula Bele, Associate Professor at the MVP Samaj’s College Of Pharmacy noted that intellectual property rights sensitivity should not be at the expense of public health obligations. She has also spent much of her presentation to reveal the problem of Evergreening the potent rights that global pharmaceutical monopolies are taking advantage of. She and Samir Kulkarni, Professor at the Institute of chemical technology in Mumbai shared their experience and suggestions on how to adjust the antitrust policies within the BRICS+ to prevent such violations. Among others such measures could help local manufacturers to compete more effectively, which is especially actual to India, who can finally realize its exporting potential at a full scale. According to them, following the last six years, the IPR ecosystem in India has witnessed both structural and legislative changes. For instance, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) was dissolved in April 2021 as part of tribunal reforms, and its jurisdiction was re-transferred to high courts. This was followed by the establishment of dedicated IP benches (“the IP Division”) by the Delhi High Court, arguably the country’s leading court on the IPR front, for speedier disposal of IPR disputes. These steps have gone hand in hand with a conscious effort to improve the infrastructure and strength of the Indian Patent Office. Such measures were intended to convey to investors and innovators not to compromising on national interest and public health commitments.

“Bringing together countries with collective expertise can reduce the time to access cost-effective biosimilars that meet quality standards. Developing countries will be able to benefit from the expertise of other alliance members. Our collaboration has the potential to open access to very complex and essential medicines, and India and Russia can lead the way,” said Prof. Kulkarni.

“Recently Russia used a compulsory licensing mechanism for the production of the Remdesivir medicine. In many countries of the world, including Vietnam and South Korea, there is an institution of “patent linkage”, which implies that the issuance of a registration certificate for a medicine is dependent on the presence of a valid patent for the original medicine. Brazil provides a number of exceptions to patent protection, while India and South Africa allow actions to make, use, sell or import a patented invention if they are carried out solely for the purpose of collecting and filing information. China allows the production, use and import of patented medicine or medical devices to provide information necessary for administrative procedures and government registration. These measures are aimed not only at saturating the market with the necessary medicine in a certain period of time, but also at creating a favorable business climate and achieving long-term economic growth” – Alexey Ivanov, Director of the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre commented.

The joint efforts of the Russian, Indian, Chinese, Arabian, African and Latin American antitrust authorities are expecting to have a positive impact on the pharmaceutical industry, not only in their respective countries but also globally. The partnership within the BRICS+ will help to create a level playing field for all players in the market, promote innovation, and ensure that medicines are available to those who need them.


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