Mumbai: Contrary to the stand taken by the world's largest pharmaceutical firm Pfizer Inc, the Denmark-based drug-maker Novo Nordisk says the intellectual property rights (IPR) have nothing do with the company's India operations. |
''We have identified India as a potential market for growth. We will launch all our new products in India, even if India is not TRIPS [Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights] compliant after 2005. Our priority is to cater to the needs of the growing number of diabetic patients. Patent-related issues come only after that,'' says Novo Nordisk vice-president (international operations and regional office, India) Dr Anil Kapur.
Novo Nordisk is the market leader in the diabetic segment in the world. Early this month, Pfizer's area president for Asia, Africa and Latin America, Mohand Sidi Said said Indian patent laws are not TRIPS compliant and it does not want the data from clinical trials to be shared with the Indian drug companies.
On the investment climate in India, Said said: ''We have seen some deregulation. I must admit that the process is very slow, and as of today, India is still to introduce a workable patent law. It remains to comply with the TRIPS agreement in particular in the area of data exclusivity.''
Kapur says Novo Nordisk is one of the leading firms in insulin therapy for diabetics. ''Our research pipeline is strong enough to enable us to launch our product in any country without any patent fear. But we know that our products will be copied by other companies at a later stage, but patients are more important than patent.''
On NN 622, the controversial Dr Reddy's molecule, Kapur says the company will continue with the research on the molecule, though for the time being the project has been put on the backburner. ''The new products of the company, such as insulin analogous and insulin inhaler, are likely to hit the market by 2006-07.''