Major Challenges for the Future
Chapter 5: Patent Protection for Pharmaceuticals: The Case of India
Because medicines constitute one of humanity’s basic requirements, the pharmaceutical industry is considered essential for society in terms of welfare contribution and improvement in the standards of living. For some countries, the industry also plays a significant role in encouraging national economic growth. Since World War II, international trade in pharmaceuticals has expanded rapidly. The rapid expansion of the industry has been explained in terms of technological advancement created by the discovery of new medicines, as well as several marketing techniques adopted by pharmaceutical companies. The principal aim of Chapters 5 and 6 is to survey the role patents play in promoting the development of domestic pharmaceutical industries in India and Thailand. It may be noted that the chapters focus on the economic framework of the pharmaceutical industry only. It does not attempt to provide a description and analysis of all legal issues related to medicines. Some issues such as the control of quality and efficacy of pharmaceuticals are beyond the scope of this study. I THE STRUCTURE OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY The pharmaceutical industry was first established in the eighteenth century (Coleman 1975, p. 15), and developed gradually during the nineteenth century. In the early stages, the pharmaceutical industry emerged as a commodity based business, and operated within a national territory. The major pharmaceutical companies, most of which were German and Swiss, developed as full-line drug houses that manufactured and sold a complete array of all ingredients (including active ingredients as well as intermediates such as buffers or matrix...
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