EVER-GREENING: THE MONEY BANK FOR PHARMACEUTICALS…..A CURSE TO THE POOR
The ever-greening of pharmaceutical patents is a contentious issue relating to intellectual property rights (IPR) and the right to health. This practice extends the period of market exclusivity, delays the introduction of generic competition, and adversely impacts public health. On the other hand, effective IP policy facilitates for technological progress and improvement on inventions. However if developing countries’ scenario, specifically India, is taken into consideration where only product and not the process patenting of medicinal drugs were permitted, ever-greening plays a detrimental role in driving out the domestic generic medicine market which provide access to vital medicinal or life-saving drugs at affordable prices to lower section of the society. With the coming up of the Natco-Bayer’s case, the issue of access to medicine has assumed a new dimension with the introduction of compulsory licensing of medicinal products. Then there is the recent case of Novartis v. Union of India which challenged Section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Act regarding patentability. Similar legal threats cannot be ruled out in future and, if successful, would deprive the poor from access to life-saving drugs. This research paper mainly focuses on the TRIPS agreement and the infirmities flowing there-from which promotes unfair trade practices by multinationals which adversely affect access to essential medicines which is a clear violation of human rights.
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