Par panel suggests blanket ban on FDI in brown field pharma

Aug 13 2013, 21:17 IST
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The panel was chaired BJP member Shanta Kumar. The panel was chaired BJP member Shanta Kumar.
SummaryThe panel was chaired BJP member Shanta Kumar.

or even more expensive patented medicines.

"Its direct impact will be on the availability of the cheapest priced generics for Indian population which may decrease substantially," it said.

The panel said it shares the concern that "serial acquisitions of the Indian generic companies by the MNCs (multinational companies) will have significant impact on the competition, price level and availability".

As per the committee, FDI inflows into research and development (R&D) activities in the pharma sector has been "totally unsatisfactory".

"The pharma industry has attraced FDI to the tune of Rs 18,678.11 crore during the last three years, out of which less than three per cent was the total FDI share in pharma R&D during the period," the report said.

Expressing displeasure over greater collaborations of multinational pharma companies with domestic players in the area of clinical trials, the panel said the government should frame guidelines for such trials.

"Such collaboration is being valued more for the patients India can provide as guinea pigs for clinical research rather than for competencies... the government should frame guidelines for safe clinical trials and ensure its strict implementation," it said.

Further, the panel also called for revival and strengthening of public sector pharma companies such as HAL and IDPL.

The report said that a robust public sector would ensure self sufficiency and shield the pharma sector from the adverse effects of market dynamics and investment policies.

Meanwhile, the report said that 61 drug patents owned by foreign companies are to expire soon.

"When a foreign company acquires our domestic company, it exports our generics there and makes a huge profit. But if the same generic is sold at the higher price in India, the Indian public stands to lose and this is an area of concern," it added.

The panel also emphasised that the government should prevent any attempt to sell generics at higher cost.

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