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India's Rejection Of Drug Patent Could Reverberate

"This is really about the future and coming up with medicines for unmet medical needs," he said.

Meanwhile, last month Pfizer's chief intellectual property lawyer, Roy F. Waldron, testified before a House trade subcommittee hearing on U.S.-India trade relations that India's stance makes it extremely difficult to get and keep a medicine patent there.

"We have seen several countries adopt policies similar to India's, which are leading to a worldwide deteriorating trend" that weakens the competitiveness of U.S. drugmakers and threatens U.S. economic growth and future medical advances, Waldron said.

But some say ending research in India would backfire, or that operating in India is so cheap a pullout wouldn't make sense.

"That would just be cutting off their nose to spite their face," said analyst Steve Brozak of WBB Securities, adding, "It's still much cheaper to put whole lab in India," as opposed to hiring a postdoctoral student to do research in the U.S.

___

Follow Linda A. Johnson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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