ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Takeover of Indian Pharma Companies

India is, today, the fourth largest producer of drugs in the world and a world class supplier of relatively cheap generic medicines. It is the largest supplier in the world of low-priced anti-retrovirals and exports medicines to over 200 countries. However, major concerns regarding access to medicines in the country remain. The World Health Organisation has reported that about 68 crore people, i e, 65% of Indians, are without access to essential medicines.

Instead of building on the excellent manufacturing capacity to make available essential medicines for all, there has been progressive undermining of these gains especially in recent years. All the three major developments which resulted in India becoming the “pharmacy of the world” have now been reversed – the Indian Patents Act of 1970; initiation of manufacture of medicines from the basic stage by Indian public sector companies in the 1960s; and the 1978 Drug Policy that imposed several restrictions on the operations of foreign companies while providing preferential treatment to Indian companies.

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