Noting that innovation needs to be ‘acknowledged’, Germany, on Monday, expressed hope that pharma firms would have clear rules to rely on for business in India following the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Novartis patent-related case.

“Innovation has to be acknowledged. Innovation does need a fair price,” German Health Minister Daniel Bahr said while stressing on the need for innovation by pharma companies to invent new improved drugs.

“Pharmaceuticals can be provided at affordable prices. Innovation should be promoted, but patent protection is required to promote innovation,” Mr. Bahr said, adding that Germany wanted to make innovations available to everyone, and this had to be affordable.

Novartis judgment

He said his country was taking a close look at the Novartis judgment, and hoped that it would not affect ties.

“I don’t believe the Novartis case can affect co-operation between India and Germany in the health sector. We have got some explanations, and the Indian government feels the Novartis case is not the same as the Bayer case. There have been many reactions among pharma companies globally.

Feeling of uncertainty

“A feeling of uncertainty has been there due to this judgment. But strategic decisions are to be reinvented, and the pre-condition is that there should be clear rules for pharma companies to rely on. We hope to make good progress on the issue and German pharma companies can hope for a fair dialogue,” the German Health Minister said.

Mr. Bahr advocated stronger co-operation between Indian and Germany in the health sector, especially in training and immigration of medical and nursing professionals.

The visiting Minister, who met his Indian counterpart Ghulam Nabi Azad earlier in the day, spoke about the German Health Smart Card model which India planned to introduce.

Appreciating India’s efforts in strengthening the health sector, he voiced concerns of German drug makers on the strong rules put in place for the clinical trial sector.

Mr. Bahr led a 16-member delegation, including three MPs and senior German officials and leaders of private pharma sector.

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