Medicine has become an integral part of Indian consumption. Medicine is consumed by the majority of the Indian population be it the use of vaccines, medicine tablets used for different ailments,  nutritional supplements as well as different medical equipment such as sugar monitors, BP machines, etc, surgical equipment can be included and medical devices such as pacemakers, stents, etc. The pharmaceutical industry, also known as “Big Pharma,” has long been a source of controversy in India. Critics have accused these companies of engaging in a variety of unethical practices, such as bullying smaller Indian pharmaceutical companies, price gouging, and violating intellectual property laws.

Novartis V/s Indian Government

One example of alleged bullying by Big Pharma in India is the ongoing legal battle between Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis and the Indian government. In 2006, Novartis filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for denying a patent for its cancer drug Gleevec. The case went all the way to the Indian Supreme Court, which ultimately ruled against Novartis, stating that the company had not made any significant changes to the drug to warrant a new patent.

Price Gouging By Big Pharma 

Critics have also accused Big Pharma of engaging in price gouging in India. For example, in 2017, the Indian government capped the prices of cardiac stents, a medical device used to treat blocked arteries, to curb overcharging by companies. The government’s move led to a significant reduction in the prices of the stents, with some dropping by as much as 85%.

Intellectual Property Rights Violations

Big Pharma has also been criticized for violating intellectual property laws in India. In 2012, the Indian government issued a compulsory license for a cancer drug called Sorafenib, allowing Indian companies to produce generic versions of the drug at a fraction of the price charged by the patent holder, Bayer. Bayer and other pharmaceutical companies have argued that such actions undermine the protection of intellectual property rights.

The Opposite View

On the other hand, it is also important to note that the pharmaceutical industry plays a significant role in producing and distributing life-saving drugs in India and other developing countries. Many Indian citizens rely on these drugs to treat illnesses and maintain their health. Without the innovation and investment of pharmaceutical companies, many of these drugs would not be available.

In conclusion, while the pharmaceutical industry has been accused of engaging in unethical practices in India, it is also responsible for producing and distributing life-saving drugs. It’s important to strike a balance between protecting public health and ensuring the sustainability of the industry.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *