EU, India resolve generic drug dispute: EU trade chief

EU, India resolve generic drug dispute: EU trade chief

Toronto: India and the EU have resolved their dispute over generic drugs, but the 27-nation bloc has to change its regulations to effect new laws allowing passage of Indian consignment through some European countries without being confiscated.

“We have discussed this in detail with our Indian counterpart. It is fair to say that in substance, we have an agreement," EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said during a visit to Ottawa in Canada for free trade talks.

However, to put the agreement into practice, “we have to modify European regulations or European legislation ... and we have to do that through the co-decision procedure, which obviously takes some time," he said.

In several instances since 2008-09, shipments of Indian off-patent generic drugs en route to Africa and Latin America were confiscated by some EU members like the Netherlands. They said these drugs violated the EU regulations.

India dragged the EU to the World Trade Organisation, which asked the parties in the dispute to initiate mutual consultations to resolve it.

The agreement has been reached after a few rounds of talks, including at the ministerial level between commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma and De Gucht.

Of its $ 22 billion generic drug industry, exports of Indian generics account for $10 billion.