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India, EU agree on generics: Sharma

business Updated: Oct 07, 2010 23:43 IST
Mahua Venkatesh
Mahua Venkatesh
Hindustan Times
generic medicines European Union

In a major breakthrough, India and the European Union (EU) appeared to have arrived at a consensus over the contentious issue of supply of generic medicines to lucrative European markets that follow a rigorous patent regime.

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who is in Germany, said the EU has taken note of the issue and is addressing it.

“The EU has accepted the position and they have amended the notification,” Sharma said on the sidelines of a function organised by industry chamber FICCI here.

Generic drugs are cheaper and affordable versions of patented drugs. Talks on the Indo-EU free trade agreement, slated to be inked in December, had hit a roadblock over the supply of generic medicines by Indian companies in Europe.

Sharma said India has been very firm on the issue in the negotiations. “When we talk of the IPR (intellectual property rights) chapter, there is no question of discussing anything which is beyond our commitments in GATT and World Trade Organisation (WTO).”

Signing of the proposed Indo-EU FTA could provide a boost to Indian drug companies with strong presence across global markets.

(The writer’s travel and stay were paid for by FICCI)