The US administration has accused India of violating WTO norms by allowing Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma to make generic version of cancer drug Nexavar,according to a media report.
Citing testimony before Congress by US Patent and Trademark Office Deputy Director Teresa Stanek Rea,Huffington Post said: “Rea repeatedly castigated India’s government for approving the generic drug,calling the move an ‘agregious’ violation of World Trade Organisation treaties.”
The report further added,Rea stated she was “dismayed and surprised” by India’s decision,while “she boasted about ‘personally’ engaging ‘various agencies of the Indian government’ in efforts to overturn in.”
According to the report,Rea’s testimony came under attack from NGOs.
“This is unprecedented,really shocking testimony,” the Huffington Post post quoted the US manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign,Judit Rius.
In March this year,for the first time India had invoked a law permitting Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell cancer-treatment drug Nexavar at a price,over 30 times lower than charged by its patent-holder Bayer Corporation.
Under compulsory licensing,the government had allowed Natco to sell the drug at a price not exceeding Rs 8,880 for a pack of 120 tablets required for a month’s treatment as compared to a whopping Rs 2.80 lakh per month charged by Bayer for its patented Nexavar drug.
The government had defended the move,with Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma stating that India did not violate any WTO norms.