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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

India to raise drug seizure issue with EU this week

Perturbed by repeated confiscation of Indian drugs by EU authorities en route Africa and Latin America ostensibly on patent issue, the government will raise the matter during the India-EU Summit on FridayBoth Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Head of European Union Delegation to India Daniele Smadja said that the issue would come be discussed at the highest level.Sharma would convey India's concern to EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton, Smadja said."We are talking to EU customs authorities, pharmaceutical industry and our member states to make sure that legitimate trade is not affected."The latest incident of October 19 related to seizure of generic anti-clotting tablets 'clopidogrel' manufactured by a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm at Paris airport by French authorities alleging patent infringement. The shipment was destined to Venezuela. India mostly exports off-patent generic drugs in conformity with the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)."The consignment was released on October 27 but such non-tariff barriers to our pharmaceutical exports are damaging our credibility as reliable and affordable suppliers," a Commerce Ministry official said.

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