Call for strict measures against spurious drugs

ABU DHABI — An expert on intellectual property rights has asked the countries to take strict measures against manufacturers of spurious drugs, who are threatening the lives of ordinary people.

By Atef Hanafi

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Published: Sat 17 Jun 2006, 10:39 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:22 PM

In a lecture to executives of drug companies operating out of the Gulf region, Dr B. Vijaya Raghavan, an expert on the intellectual property rights, has warned that the pharmaceutical companies in the Arab world in general and the Gulf region in particular, could not be classified as international companies.

He said that India, one of the basic players on the international pharmaceuticals, was also suffering from such phenomenon for the last 15 years, as the drug companies does not have the copyright for their products.

Dr Raghavan said that during the training course for the executives, that the programme aims at providing an update on the regime of the WTO-Trips and its impact on the future of the pharmaceutical industry.

He urged the countries to align themselves to the WTO regime without compromising on their rights, rather than succumbing to the undue pressure from external forces.

Dr Raghavan said that the copyrights never prevented the people living in poverty to get their right to medical treatment. He added that three Indian companies are taking part in an international research programme for developing a medicine to cure HIV/Aids, under the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief programme.

Dr Raghavan added that this programme has helped in lowering high prices and cost for the drug of Aids to $200 from as high as $3,000. “India has recently adopted a new mechanism to providing the medicines to Indian masses at a very reasonable prices,” he said.

The expert stressed that the governments should take strict measures to get rid of the fake drugs market and force the pharmaceutical companies to comply with the laws and regulations,

which governs the pharmaceutical industry.

On the other hand, Dr Raghavan referred to the UAE as one of the countries that signed the copyright agreement, which extended from 10 to 15 years.

He said that the people in poverty could get the life-saving drugs through the regulations that could organise the mechanism of delivering it.

He mentioned that the US succeeded in coming up with remedies for weaker sections of the society. “That mechanism can be applied in the Gulf region also,” he added.

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