Competition Commission of India to conduct study of Pharma and Healthcare Sector
The Indian Daily, Economic Times has recently reported that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has set the ball rolling for a detailed study of the Pharma and Healthcare services sector. CCI has come across various instances in the pharmaceutical sector where competition norms seem to have been violated over the past few years. Against this backdrop, the CCI will soon carry out a study about the pharmaceutical sector and healthcare delivery systems/services in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region).
As per the reports, the CCI noted that the baseline study would look at the issues in the sectors from the competition law perspective to understand whether there are anti-competitive practices in this sector as part of larger efforts to clamp down on unfair business practices.
As reported in the Daily, the Commission said it has come across various issues in the pharmaceutical sector and healthcare delivery systems over the past few years. Public and private hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms and their associations, doctors and their associations, among others, would be covered under the study.
These include non-availability of essential medicines, increasing price of drugs, nexus between pharmaceutical companies and pharmacists, nexus between pharmacists and doctors, nexus between doctors and pathological laboratories, nexus between doctors and pharmaceutical companies, and nexus between hospitals and insurance companies etc.
On the IP front, as reported in an Indian daily, the multinationals companies are clamoring for inclusion of two key provisions in the Indian Patents Act – data exclusivity and patent linkages. A group of Indian drug makers, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance has urged the government not to give in to the mounting pressure from a section of US senators for tighter intellectual property (IP) laws in India as the same would hurt the domestic industry and impede consumers’ access to affordable healthcare.
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