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Monday, Dec 20, 2004

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`Make life-saving drugs accessible'

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, DEC. 19. The Assocham has urged the Government to ensure that life-saving drugs do not become inaccessible or unaffordable.

In a note to the Government, it said that patent protection should be provided only on new chemical molecules and not to the newer uses of known drugs, as there was no such obligation under the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights.

The TRIPs gives rights of manufacturing a product to the patent owner for 20 years. With a view to striking a balance between new drug launches and their affordability, it suggested that generic drug-makers could be asked to pay royalty to a drug developer to "ensure they have a share in the profits."

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