Government considering Compulsory licensing option to check exorbitant drug price
Compulsory licensing is a system whereby the government allows third parties (other than patent holders) to produce and market patented product without the consent of patent owner. In India, till date no compulsory licenses have been issued but now the government is exploring this option due to the following reasons:
Ø The acquisition of Indian pharmaceuticals companies by the multinational companies in the recent past has impacted the availability of low-cost medicines in the country.
Ø There is inaccessibility of medicines for chronic diseases like cancer, AIDS and anti-retrovirals.
Ø WHO estimates that 60 % of Indians still lack access to essential medicines.
The introduction of compulsory licensing tool will definitely help in containing the rising prices of these patented drugs and thus make them accessible to a large number of people.