In India, a large part of the population living below the poverty line, with expenses towards healthcare out of pocket; have been living in a significant health crisis with the inability towards accessibility, affordability and availability of the medicine.
Today, IPR Laws are getting more and more popular. They provide relief to the innovative minds ensuring their inventions, ideas, and discoveries remain theirs. Amongst these laws, patent laws have assumed maximum importance. However, where medicines are concerned, these patent laws act as a blockage to the access of these essential commodities. India has become a pioneer in the developing world with attempts towards adapting pharmaceutical patent law, taking account of the domestic health needs of its citizens thereby facilitating its national development.
The issue of access to medicines has assumed global dimensions since several decades ever since India became a part of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, 2001. The recent patent law decisions including that of the Supreme Court in the Novartis case[i] have indicated that India has continued to put a premium on public health in relation to pharmaceutical patent law decisions. This article deals with the meaning of pharmaceutical drugs, the process of its patenting in India, and the problems that and the problems it follows, thereby disabling and making difficult the public access to health.
[i] Novartis AG v. Union of India (2013) 6 SCC 1: (2013) SCC (Civ) 227: (2013) SCC OnLine SC271 decided on April 1, 2013. A division bench of Aftab Alam and Ranjana P. Desai, JJ.