USIBC seeks clarity, transparency in compulsory license policy

USIBC seeks clarity, transparency in compulsory license policyWASHINGTON: Top American business advocacy group USIBC (US India Business Council) has sought transparency, consistency and clarity in the compulsory license policy of the Indian government in a bid to attract investments that are “imperative” for innovation.

“The (US India Business) Council and its members seek transparency, consistency and clarity in the legislation and circumstances under which such compulsory licenses can be issued so as to enable well-informed business decisions,” USIBC said in a statement on Thursday.

“Such a policy is important to attract investments that are imperative for innovation to thrive in India,” the statement said.

The recent statement from the trade advocacy group come after recent reports on the USIBC’s submission to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on India’s stance on compulsory licensing.

The Indian Patent Office announced in March that it has issued its first compulsory license to a domestic generic drug-maker.

Compulsory licensing is when government authorizes a party other than the patent owner to produce the patented product or process, without the patent owner’s consent.

Under the Indian Patents Act also, a compulsory license can be issued for a drug if the medicine is deemed unaffordable by the government and grants permission to qualified generic drug makers to manufacture it.

“USIBC recognizes and supports the Government of India’s sovereign right to issue a compulsory license (CL),” it said.

“Innovation is the bedrock of Prime Minister Modi’s vision for Make in India, Start Up India, and Digital India,” the statement said.

USIBC and its members commended the Indian government for its openness to engage in a dialogue with the industry in a manner that will that grow the economy and bring superior innovation to the lives of Indians, it said.–PTI