Drugs row threatens health sector budget

What you need to know:

  • Ahead of a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week, European manufacturers had already protested India’s patents policy, arguing that it doesn’t protect sensitive technology.
  • That demand had been part of negotiations for a Free Trade Area between Europe and India, which collapsed two years ago after disagreements on pharmaceutical patent policies.
  • On Sunday, the Times of India quoted Indian Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Amitabh Kant as assuring a new patents regime would be in place by December.

Kenya may be forced to increase its future annual health budget, if global drug companies have their way in the simmering patents row surrounding the manufacture of medicines.

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