India plans to move WTO as EU confiscates drugs in transit
16 Jan 2009
India is planning to drag the European Union to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the recent confiscation of a pharmaceutical consignment of Dr Reddy Labs by Dutch authorities.
The $50,000 consignment of bulk drug `losartan' to Brazil was seized in transit by the Dutch authorities on charges of patent infringement.
"It is a concerted move by MNCs to disrupt the growth of Indian generic industry," said commerce secretary G K Pillai.
US-based DuPont holds the patent for branded losartan in the Netherlands which is sold as the brand name Cozaar brand. Losartan is used to lower blood pressure.
Pillai said the department has taken up the matter with the European Commission (EC) and has written to them.
''This is an act of piracy by the European Union. The consignment was going to Latin America and was seized in Europe,'' he said ''This is a dangerous thing happening, which is totally uncalled for. It is part of the strategy by these countries to target generic drugs from India,'' he added.
Under the WTO process consultations with the country or countries have to precede any move to settlement through its `Dispute Settlement Panel'. If the consultations do not yield a resolution of the issues, the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel starts the proceedings.
India's pharmaceutical industry derives 40 per cent of its $12 billion revenue from exports, mainly of the generic drugs.
This is the second such action in the Netherlands in three months. The Indian Pharmaceutical association (IPA) has urged serious action by the commerce department against such seizures, this being the second such seizure in the Netherlands in three months.