Defending the indefensible
Monday, July 20, 2009
The Indian government is to launch a campaign in South Africa this week, desgined to "counter the multinational companies' (MNCs) propaganda against Indian generic drugs in African countries."
But what "propaganda" is this?
The report states: "generic drugs are not counterfeit drugs as is being spread by the MNCs."
Of course generic drugs are not necessarily counterfeits, but vast amounts of seized drugs coming from India are counterfeits.
Last week the EU released new data showing that yet again most fake drugs are coming from India.
Over half the medicines stopped at EU borders for intellectual property infringements were from India.
The most high-profile examples of these seizures have been those committed in the Netherlands over alleged patent infringements. Certain groups have cried incessantly about the injustice of these seizures, accusing the EU of endangering lives.
Yet these seizures are in the minority - only 6% of seizures in 2008 were for patent infringement, while 93% were for trademark infringements.
And another word for a faked trademark is "counterfeit."
Packaging with fake trademarks will likely contain fake drugs. People receiving these fakes can have no confidence in the medicines they're taking, and it is their lives that are being endangered far more than any the EU is supposedly responsible for.
Let's hope delegates in South Africa bear that in mind more than propaganda from any side.