Pfizer Inc. Criticizes India's Intellectual Property Policies

Published: Mar 14, 2013

U.S. industry groups on Wednesday called for the United States to increase pressure on India to reform high-tech, agricultural and pharmaceutical policies they said block U.S. exports and damage patent rights. "India has essentially created a protectionist regime that harms U.S. job creators" in favor of the country's generic drug manufacturers, Roy Waldron, chief intellectual property counsel for Pfizer, said in testimony to the House of Representative Ways and Means trade subcommittee. Waldron complained that last year India revoked Pfizer's patent for a cancer medicine, Sutent, "to allow Indian generic companies to manufacture and sell generic copies." India also abuses compulsory licenses, which governments are supposed to use in limited circumstances to suspend drug patents, for the benefit of its domestic firms, he said. Waldron urged U.S. government officials to vigorously pursue those concerns in direct talks with India and to "review all available policy tools" to pressure the world's largest democracy to better protect U.S. intellectual property. The hearing comes as U.S. trade benefits for India are up for renewal under the Generalized System of Preferences program, which waives duties on thousands of goods from developing countries to help them create jobs. "I want to ensure that U.S. job creators can compete there on a level playing field," said Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the Ways and Means trade subcommittee, noting India's market of 1.2 billion people should offer huge potential for U.S. companies.

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