U.S., India make incremental IP headway during Obama visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

SINGAPORE--The summit meeting between President Barack Obama and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi resulted in no breakthroughs, such as on intellectual property, but did lead to about a dozen smaller agreements on various issues affecting the pharmaceutical industries.

According to a White House list, they:

• Reaffirmed the importance of providing transparent and predictable policy environments for fostering innovation. Both countries reiterated their interest in sharing information and best practices on IPR issues, and reaffirmed their commitment to stakeholders' consultations on policy matters concerning intellectual property protection.

• Committed to multisectoral actions countering the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance, and cooperation in training of health workers in preparedness for infectious-disease threats. The leaders agreed to focus science and technology partnerships on countering antibiotic-resistant bacteria and promoting the availability, efficacy and quality of therapeutics.

• Agreed to expand the India-U.S. Health Initiative into a Healthcare Dialogue with relevant stakeholders to further strengthen bilateral collaboration in health sectors including through capacity-building initiatives and by exploring new areas, including affordable healthcare, cost-saving mechanisms, distribution barriers, patent quality, health services information technology, and complementary and traditional medicine.

• Welcomed further progress in promoting bilateral cooperation on cancer research, prevention, control and management, and agreed to continue to strengthen the engagement between the CDC and India's National Centre for Disease Control.

President Barack Obama

• Also agreed to accelerate joint leadership of the global Call to Action to end preventable deaths among mothers and children through a third meeting of the 24 participating countries in India in June 2015.

The president and prime minister pledged to encourage dialogue between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Indian counterparts on traditional medicine. The leaders also pledged to strengthen collaboration, dialogue and cooperation between the regulatory authorities of the two countries to ensure safety, efficacy and quality of pharmaceuticals, including generic medicines.

As host, India will showcase the power of new partnerships, innovations and systems to more effectively deliver lifesaving interventions.

They also lauded the highly successful collaboration on a locally produced vaccine against rotavirus, which will save the lives of an estimated 80,000 children each year in India alone, and pledged to strengthen the cooperation in health research and capacity-building through a new phase of the India-U.S. Vaccine Action Programme.

- here's the White House statement