Monday, March 10, 2008

Competition Law and Intellectual Property Rights.

The Economic Times Reports click here

NEW DELHI: The pharmaceuticals and airline industries have attracted the attention of the competition regulator for indulging in allegedly anti-competitive activities. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has called the pharmaceutical industry for a dialogue on the anti-competitive practices in the sector, seen as a prelude to action against offenders when the government notifies the regulator’s enforcement powers.

The commission is expected to tell companies and industry associations how certain practices in pricing, trade and retail do not reflect the spirit of competition. The commission is also expected to tell companies how much pricing liberty they could take from the monopoly rights they get by way of intellectual property protection to inventions.

Competition law sets the contours of IPR rights and acts as a check against its abuse. Besides, the pharma sector is known for its lack of transparency on how brands are priced in relation to quality. It is often the costliest brand in the market that sets the benchmark in prices with the rest of the industry pricing products close to it.

If the commission comes out with guidelines related to pricing of Drugs who enjoy monopoly rights due to their Patents it would be really helpful in addressing issues related to providing access to essential medicines, which is of grave importance in a developing country like India who has to protect the patent rights and also see to it that people have access to such essential medicines these guidelines would be really helpful in creating a balance between the two.

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