India: Discussions with business leaders at CEO Forum & patent laws among other topics to be discussed during Obama's visit
US President Barack Obama will start a three-day landmark trip to India on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to build on what he has said will be one of the defining relationships of the 21st century. Obama, who is the first US president to be invited as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, will disucss some of the key issues at hand including of strategic importance, counter-terrorism engagemnet, defence, economic ties, civil nuclear & renewable energy with governmnet of India. Cyrus Mistry, Chairman of Tata Sons, will lead the Indian side to the forum of top chief executives from India and US. David M Cote from Honeywell will co-chair CEO forum from US side. While many are delighted with the agenda of discussions among the US President & Indian Prime Minster, health activists & organizations have expressed concern over the US government’s heightened efforts to undermine access to affordable medicines from India. They are particularly concerned about dilution of Section 3(d) of the Patent Act of 1970 that allegedly restricts the vested business interest of pharmaceutical companies in US and EU in India.
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Author: Medecins Sans Frontieres
...Obama visit comes in the wake of a critical decision by India’s Patent Controller to deny a patent to pharmaceutical company Gilead for the hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir—an example of how important India’s law is to encouraging price-lowering generic competition. The drug is priced in the US at US$84,000 for a three-month treatment course ($1,000 per pill), although studies estimate its production for a three-month course could be as low as $101 (about $1 per pill)...discontent is already being expressed and the patent rejection is likely to be brought up by US officials accompanying President Obama...India now faces a challenge: future access to essential medicines for millions of people will depend on the new Indian government’s decisions and the kind of patent and innovation system it endorses,” said Leena Menghaney, South Asia Manager of MSF’s Access Campaign.
Author: PB Jayakumar, Business Today
US President Barack Obama's visit to India is likely to accelerate ongoing pressure from the US on the Indian government to dilute its patent laws to help multinational drug makers, fears international medical humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)...The US multinational lobby is pressurising the Indian Government to dilute rules related to Section 3 (d) of Indian Patent Act on incremental innovations and Section 84 related to compulsory licensing (allowing generic companies to make drugs despite the patent) during emergencies.
Author: Hindustan Times
Obama...is the first US president to be invited as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. Besides taking part in the Republic Day celebrations, Obama will also talk business and try to foster closer economic and defence ties with India.
Author: SPS Pannu, Business Today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama are likely to air their 'Mann ki Baat' in a joint All India Radio (AIR) broadcast to the nation on the Republic Day. This is expected to be the Indian equivalent of the joint editorial in the Washington Post that the two heads of state jointly wrote during the PM's visit to the US...Plans are also being chalked out for a 'Chai pe Charcha' between the two heads of state in the presence of select corporate chiefs of the two countries...Another function at the Sri Fort is also being planned by the US embassy at which the US President is expected to speak on "India and America: The Future We Can Build Together"...The USIBC will also host a separate CEOs forum. Around 300 CEOs have been invited for this separate CEOs forum.
Author: Aman Malik, International Business Times
India and the United States have a problem in the pharmaceuticals sector. And drug-makers in both countries will be keenly watching whether President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can do anything about it when the former comes visiting India as a state guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi...The problem is mainly on two fronts -- on the one hand, Indian drug makers...have been getting flak from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for intellectual property rights (IPR) violations and for allegedly tampering with data; on the other hand, foreign pharmaceutical companies...have been denied patents by India for their drugs.
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Author: Press Trust of India
Cyrus Mistry...Chairman of Tata Sons, will lead the Indian side to the forum of top chief executives from India and US. David M Cote from Honeywell will co-chair CEO forum from US side. The CEOs forum will meet on January 26 afternoon and will be addressed by Mr Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi...The forum is likely to discuss bilateral business ties particularly in light of US being a major potential source of manufacturing investments. Critical issues including visa impediments for professionals too may be discussed...Meeting is significant in light of Make-in-India initiative and government bid to make the country a hub for manufacturing, design and innovation.
Author: Nayantara Narayanan, Scroll.in
Called the draft National Intellectual Property Rights policy, this document is likely to interest President Barack Obama greatly since it could determine the size of profits that American pharmaceutical companies can make by selling medicines to Indians. Conversely, it could affect the healthcare costs of millions of Indians...At the heart of the debate is the issue of how drugs are patented.
Author: Suvojit Bagchi, Hindu
Only days before President Barack Obama’s visit, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the powerful economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has objected to the United States’ “threats” to India’s domestic policies on Intellectual Property Right (IPR)...The organisation is against any drive to facilitate business interest of the US & the EU’s pharmaceutical companies in India. According to SJM, the “Western world” is building “continuous pressure” on India to amend many sections of the Patent Act of 1970, particularly 3(d), which would qualify global pharmaceutical companies to market new drugs without making any genuine innovation, thus escalating profit. In a strongly worded resolution, the RSS outfit has said that the government “should not compromise” and succumb to pressure.
Author: Shefali Misra, Huffington Post
Obama's visit, however, will be a high point that will give two new friends another opportunity to forge collaborations aimed at boosting economic growth...But this opportunity will all be for naught if Obama and Modi miss the chance to touch on an integral issue that impacts it all: the tragic state of security and rights of women and girls in India...India has more than half-a-billion women who can substantially contribute to the labour market, as entrepreneurs generating profits and build capital. However, so far prioritising them is seen merely as a social good and not integral to economic progress.
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Author: Press Trust of India
Ahead of his visit to India, a human rights group has asked the US President, Barack Obama, to speak about the Bhopal gas tragedy while promoting his country’s business interests during the trip. Even after 30 years, people continue to suffer from the impact of the disaster at a factory owned by US-based company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), that killed 20,000 and injured thousand others. The site is not cleaned up, the Amnesty International had said yesterday. “The failure of Obama to speak will embolden US-based companies to ignore accountability for their involvement in human rights abuses...While promoting US business interest in India, Obama should not ignore the welfare of Indian citizens,” it added.
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