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BRIAN WATT: A lot of bigwigs from U.S. industry have been in India this last week, trying to improve trade relations. Among the companies were representatives from pharmaceutical companies. They want India to strengthen its intellectual property rights system. Then, they say, it would be safe for them to come in. Miranda Kennedy has more from New Delhi.
MIRANDA KENNEDY: Drug companies haven’t been willing to set up research and manufacturing because they’re concerned that patent laws here don’t offer them adequate protection.
Last year the Indian government addressed some of their concerns, when it passed a law consistent with WTO requirements for drug patents, but this law doesn’t guarantee confidentiality of drug formulas.
Commerce Undersecretary Jon Dudas says big pharmaceutical firms are sitting tight ’til that changes.
JON DUDAS: You would think then that the market is huge you would say well, we’ll invest anyway. But we don’t see that.
He says drug companies pounced when smaller markets like Jordan and Morocco changed their laws.
DUDAS: They waited for strong patent protection and data exclusivity and the moment it was there they came in.
So this week Dudas is urging Indian officials to follow in those countries’ footsteps and protect drug makers’ innovations in India.
In New Delhi, I’m Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.
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