Why are drugs cheaper in India? And why the bigshots oppose it?
April 2, 2007 11:19am CST
India's is called "pharmacy of the world's poor". This is because of the numerous generic drug companies in the country selling medicines at a fraction of cost charged by Western pharmaceuticals. But in 2005, India changed its patent laws to comply with the global agreement on intellectual property. This is viewed as the end of the cheap drug for poor nations. A case of the high discrepancy in pricing is that of the pain releiver Mefenamic acid which is sold in the Philippines for P20.80 can be bought for only P2.80 per capsule in India. Pfizer's Norvasc 5mg is sold for P44.75 that's why the government decided to import some from India for only P9 each. This has resulted in an ongoing court battle between the drug giant and the government. Poor people are dying from highly curable diseases because big pharmaceutical companies based on first world countries are blocking the developing world from obtaining cheap but quality medicines. Drug firms are earning billions of dollars from their operations in the developed countries. Why do they spend millions lobbying for poor nations to observe their patents? How can they be so greedy?