Indian drug companies criticize TPP provisions on data exclusivity

Opponents of data exclusivity rules dealing with pharmaceuticals in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) got an unsurprising boost last week when officials from India's drug manufacturing industry weighed in with their criticisms of the 12-nation pact.

India, the so-called "pharmacy to the world," according to a Reuters report, could see its $15 billion pharmaceutical industry hit hard by TPP rules that could slow the introduction of new generic drugs and "biosimilar" medicines that would be similar to biologic drugs developed by global pharma giants.

The TPP pact was agreed to earlier this month and immediately drew the ire of groups like Doctors Without Borders who say it will hurt people in the developing world who cannot afford name-brand drugs.

India is not part of the TPP group, but officials said the rules that will keep data on new drugs private will hurt the country's businesses.

D.G. Shah

"The generics decline will be discernible from the end of 2017," said D.G. Shah, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, according to the Reuters report.

The TPP pact must still be approved by the legislatures and parliaments of the member countries and critics are fighting to keep it from being implemented because they say it puts the interests of giant corporations ahead of the people that global trade is supposed to benefit, Reuters reported.

Amitabh Kant, secretary of India's Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion, told Reuters the impact of TPP was unclear at the moment and said India might work to reach bilateral deals with China and countries in Southeast Asia.

- here's the story from Reuters