India cites deliberate "generic" vs. "counterfeit" confusion

The persistent seizure of Indian generics at European ports may be a terminology issue. A representative from India, speaking at a World Health Organization meeting, suggests that port authorities may be confusing the terms "counterfeit" and "generic."

India says the EU has provided information on 26 drug-shipment seizures in 17 European countries relating to intellectual-property violations. But Indian officials are still waiting to hear if European authorities found any substandard medicines, Intellectual Property Watch reports.

European officials say that such mistaken seizure of legitimate generic drugs ended in 2008.

"We have concerns regarding the use of the term 'counterfeit,'" India says in a statement to the meeting. The term "counterfeit" is more closely aligned with trademark issues rather than the quality, safety and efficacy issues that should drive health officials' judgments concerning drug shipments, say representatives from India, Brazil and other countries. The intellectual-property perspective introduces a "deliberate confusion" of the issue by those who want to increase IP enforcement.

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