19 July 2016 | Views | By BioSpectrum Bureau
Creative India; Innovative India
Tarun Kumar Bansal, Director, Sagacious Research
First Draft of National IPR Policy was made available for public comments on December 19, 2014 and after a long radio silence, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India released the first ever National IPR Policy ("the Policy") on May 13, 2016, with a vision to transform India as a knowledge economy. Key highlights of the Policy are as follows:
The Policy will catalyze the ecosystem towards India's economic development and socio-cultural development;
The Vision of the Policy is empowering development for the 'benefit of all' and in accepting the philosophy that 'knowledge owned is transformed into knowledge shared' is honorable;
The policy governs the following Acts: Patents, Trade Marks, Design, Geographical Indications of Goods, Copyright, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights, Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Layout Design and Biological Diversity;
The policy will accelerate the growth of numerous sectors such as pharmaceuticals, software, electronics and communications, seeds, environmental goods, renewable energy, agricultural and health biotechnology, and information and communications;The policy provides the platform to drive the development of industry, publicly-funded research and development organizations, educational institutions and government departments in India starting now and into the foreseeable future;
The policy strongly recommends speedy disposal of pending IPR applications with respective authorities.
Analysis of the Policy vis-Ã -vis Pharmaceuticals and Biotech industries:
India shows immense potential not just as a destination for new era pharmaceuticals, biotech products and diagnostics but on the other hand is turning into an important hub for outsourcing of clinical trials and contract research.
â€¢ Pharma industry in India is performing at par in comparison with global pharma industry and expected to grow over 15% annually upto 2020. (SOURCE: link)
â€¢ The biotech industry in India is trying to get onto the tracks in comparison with the global biotech industry and is able to achieve Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20%.
Impacts of the Policy:
counsels for strong IPR protection for creations, innovations and businesses related to Pharmaceuticals and Biotech sector;
firmly confirms the neutrality of Indian IPR laws and affirms full compliance of TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement;
further supports the above-mentioned neutrality by recommending strong measures against as spurious or counterfeit and treating generic drugs as one of them;
discusses about the concerns of Indian generic pharmaceutical companies and provided recommendations to promote innovations among such corporations;
mentions the dire need of streamlining Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) approval process for manufacturing and marketing of drugs while maintaining safety and efficacy standards;
discusses about the need of involvement of public funded R&D institutes and industry to develop affordable drugs relating to neglected diseases;
strongly supports the need of guidance to researchers and innovators involved in Biotech sector and had vividly mentions 'Biotech' sector as a national priority area;
highlights the need of a common public platform which assist innovators involved in Biotech sector to connect with potential buyers/licensee/users/investors in order to figure out white spaces and hence enable them carry out innovative activities in an unexplored regions of the industry;
advises on establishing effective coordination between Intellectual Property office, National Biodiversity Authority and other concerned Ministries/ departments which enable streamlining of processing of patent applications related biological resources and associated traditional knowledge.
To conclude, the government of India will surely take positive and constructive steps to alleviate the miseries and sufferings of the creators and innovators (domestic as well as international) by minimising or eliminating the irritants road blocks and hurdles for pharmaceutical products, herbals and biotechnology, by implementing the recommendations/suggestions mentioned in the Policy.
This will go a far in making "Make in India" and "Research in India" towards achievement..!!!