Appreciates continuing efforts by the U.S. Government, including by the Office of USTR to promote compliance with international obligations and protection of U.S. intellectual capital
Speculation surrounding India’s inclusion in the Priority Foreign Country list ended, with the release of the Special 301 report on 30th April. India retains its place in the Priority Watch List alongwith nine other countries (China, Russia, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Venezuela, Algeria, Chile and Argentina) with a total of 27 countries making it to the watch list.
However, the USTR will be conducting an ‘Out-of-Cycle-Review’ OCR in the fall of 2014, after the new government comes in place. Commenting on the same, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO John Castellani issued the following statement, “We appreciate the continuing efforts underway across the U.S. Government, including by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Departments of State and Commerce, and U.S. overseas missions, to promote compliance with international obligations and protection of U.S. intellectual capital.”
“While we continue to believe that the systemic pattern of undermining patented medicines in India warrant its elevation to Priority Foreign Country status, we welcome the announcement that USTR will initiate an Out-of-Cycle Review of India this fall. Such a review provides a needed avenue for constructive engagement with the incoming Indian government on how to resolve the deteriorating IP environment in India. Nothing less than full engagement in the months ahead is needed to resolve these critical issues, ” he added.
The Report describes the Out-of-Cycle Review (OCR) as a ‘tool’ to ‘encourage progress on IPR issues of concern’. USTR will conduct OCRs of Priority Watch List country India and Watch List countries Kuwait and Paraguay. “The Special 301 process garners the high-level attention from our trading partners necessary to redress intellectual property violations and market access concerns within individual markets and to send signals to other U.S. trading partners that protecting American intellectual property is important not only to the U.S. economy but also to patients across the globe,” Castellani said further.
EP News Bureau Mumbai