Indian drug exports under brand name to stay

MUMBAI: Pharma companies can breathe a tad easier. It is learnt that the government has dropped plans to enforce a ban on use of brand names while exporting medicines. Recently, the health ministry had directed the industry to use generic names for medicines instead of brands while applying for manufacturing licences. The government was planning a similar ban in export licences as well.

Though this was yet another move by the government to make drugs cheaply available to patients, it threatened to snowball into a major problem for the industry, which mops up over $12 billion through exports. The move would have resulted in confusion, delays and loss of export turnover for companies.

The government is expected to clarify the issue of export licences by issuing a notification over the next few days. "Based on our discussions with officials, the government has agreed that it will not ban the use of brand names in export licences. We have sought a clarification (on the issue) from the health ministry, and this is expected soon," an official from the Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association said.

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