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India Lashes Out at US Report That Called It a Source of Counterfeit Drugs

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India is one of the world's largest producers of generics – drugs that have the same active pharmaceutical ingredients as the originally patented medicine, but produced by other companies and sold at significantly lower cost.

Indian Health Secretary Preeti Sudan has slammed the latest report by the US Trade Representative (USTR), who labelled India, along with China, as the main sources of counterfeit medicines. According to Sudan, the report targets low-cost generics and the "thriving Indian drug manufacturing industry".

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The secretary strongly denied the report's conclusions regarding 20% of drugs on the Indian market being bogus. Sudan further assured that all drugs that the country exports are subject to intense scrutiny and certification.

The Indian health secretary was not the only one to criticise the USTR report. A Doctors Without Borders press release argued that the supply of generics is crucial for making medicine affordable to everyone at a time of soaring prices in the pharmaceutical sphere.

"USTR's push for more protection and enforcement of IP policies would keep medicine prices high globally and place lifesaving treatments out of reach for longer in developing countries", the report said.

India is one of the world's biggest producers of cheap equivalents of original drugs — generics. It's responsible for about 40% of generics sold in the US and around 25% in the UK. India's total pharmaceutical market is already worth tens of billions of dollars, with the value expected to rise to $55 billion by 2020.

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