Linking Patents to Pills: Unravelling the Patent Linkage Framework for Pharmaceutical Products in India

A patent grants the patentee exclusive rights, title, and interest in an invention. This creates a right in rem – a right to restrict a third party from making, using, offering for sale, selling, or in any manner commercializing the invention (as claimed in the patent)[1] for a period of 20 years[2]. In case of drugs, grant of patent, does not give the patent owner an automatic right to market the product. Such additional right in the form of a marketing approval/ license/ registration is granted by the concerned drug regulatory body acting under the auspices of the relevant legislation that regulates the import/ manufacture/ sale/ marketing of the drug in the relevant jurisdiction. Continue Reading Linking Patents to Pills: Unravelling the Patent Linkage Framework for Pharmaceutical Products in India

Innovative Medical Devices under the Lens of Clinical Investigations – A Dormant Volcano Waiting to Erupt?

Introduction

Since the advancements in healthcare services and medicinal sciences, medical devices in India have become part and parcel of the existing healthcare delivery services framework.  Medical devices, in essence, are tools, instruments and even software which inter alia enable healthcare service providers to diagnose, monitor, mitigate and treat illnesses and health conditions.Continue Reading Innovative Medical Devices under the Lens of Clinical Investigations – A Dormant Volcano Waiting to Erupt?

The National Medical Devices Policy, 2023: A Closer Look at Strategy and Implementation

In an earlier blog post, we took a close look at the National Medical Devices Policy, 2023 (“Policy”), notified by the Department of Pharmaceuticals (“DoP”) on May 2, 2023[1]. We delved into the framework, objectives and core focus areas of the Policy. While the aim of the Policy was clearly to reduce import dependency and establish India as a global manufacturing hub for medical devices, little information was provided on the means to achieve these goals. To draw a holistic picture, we sought guidance from the Approach Paper to the National Medical Devices Policy, 2022 (“Approach Paper”)[2], which was based on similar principles and furthered the same goals as the present Policy. However, the DoP has recently also issued a strategy document on the Policy (“Strategy Document”)[3] to fine-tune and expand on its implementation strategies. In light of the same, this blog post analyses the Strategy Document, measures envisaged thereunder, enforcement priorities and focal points.Continue Reading The National Medical Devices Policy, 2023: A Closer Look at Strategy and Implementation

Encapsulating the Branded vs. Generics Debate: Pitfalls and Doctors’ Dilemma

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on May 12, 2023, issued an Office Order directing heads of hospitals and polyclinics run by the Central Government, and CGHS wellness centres to ensure that all doctors (including residents) prescribe only generic medicines (“Order”). Additionally, this order contains an instruction to completely curtail the visits of medical representatives to hospital premises, with the caveat that information about new launches may be communicated by way of emails only.

On the face of it, there is little fault to be found in the Order and its dicta. In fact, it ties into the recent push to promote generic medications over expensive branded drugs. That said, it may be worthwhile to take a step back and look at the legal and policy implications of this course of action afresh, especially in light of the unintended consequences it may entail.Continue Reading Encapsulating the Branded vs. Generics Debate: Pitfalls and Doctors’ Dilemma

Introduction

In order to keep pace with the growing demand for quality goods and services while keeping competition at bay in this fiercely-contested sector, FMCG companies have constantly been on the lookout for effective and creative techniques to gain popularity and an edge over their rivals’ products. The marketing and sales teams of such companies, often armed with data, leave no stone unturned to outwit and outsell the products of competing companies. This comes as no surprise, as with the integration of innovative digital technologies and advancements in the possible venues for advertisements, companies have levelled up their consumer interaction experiences. For example, companies have now shifted their focus from hoardings and billboard advertisements to engaging social-media influencers to review and showcase their products. Some companies have even begun digitally interacting with customers and re-sharing posts (often with the company’s product prominently visible) of happy consumers on social media.Continue Reading What Does the Box Say? Exploring the legality of advertisement strategies commonly deployed by FMCG Companies

A Closer Look at India’s Pet Care Sector and Regulatory Grey Areas

In Part I of this series, titled ‘The (Pawsome) Pet Care Sector: Through a Legal Lens’, we provided a broad overview of the registration and compliance requirements for entities in the pet care industry. We also discussed factors like the entry options, the sector’s migration to the online mode, and relevant judicial pronouncements.

The legal framework for pet care in India is spread across a host of rules and legislations. The relevant regulatory duties are also divided between various regulators including the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (“FSSAI”), the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (“CDSCO”), and the Animal Welfare Board of India, among others. Therefore, industry players will have to keep track of a wide range of legislations (along with relevant State rules and municipal laws) to ensure proper compliance.Continue Reading Barking up the Right Tree: A Closer Look at India’s Pet Care Sector and Regulatory Grey Areas

Scrutinising India’s Organ Donation Laws and the Dilemmas of ‘Brain-Stem Death’

A significant demand-supply gap plagues the market for organ donation in India. The country has one of the lowest organ donation rates in the world, resulting in the death of innumerable patients in need of organ transplants.[1] While a part of this problem can be attributed to lack of awareness among potential donors, the issue is exacerbated by legislative ambiguity and regulatory shortcomings. The law on organ donation in India is primarily governed by the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 (as amended in 2014) (“Act”), read with the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014 (“Rules”).Continue Reading Beneath the Surface: Scrutinising India’s Organ Donation Laws and the Dilemmas of ‘Brain-Stem Death’

The Operation of e-Pharmacies and Data Privacy Risks

E-Pharmacies and operations thereof have been a contentious issue for long. While the issue remains static largely due to the delay in the notification of the E-Pharmacy Rules that were drafted in 2018, there is significant litigation that has ensued as well. The Government is contemplating whether e-pharmacies should be allowed to sell medicines online and, in this vein, the Drugs Controller General of India (“DCGI”) has issued show-cause notices to over 20 e-pharmacies to give them an opportunity to explain their operations and compliance with the regulations. As litigation ensues and rival contentions are presented before the courts[1], the Indian Government is currently seeking proper legal opinion on the regulation of e-pharmacies.Continue Reading The Operation of e-Pharmacies and Data Privacy Risks

Medical Devices Policy, 2023

                                                                                                                                               

In a bid to reduce import dependency and boost domestic production of medical devices, the Union Cabinet recently approved the National Medical Devices Policy, 2023 (“Policy”)[1]. The broad contours of the Policy were earlier notified vide a press release issued by the Press Information Bureau (“Press Release”).[2] The Policy aims to reduce India’s import reliance and has a stated goal to establish India as a global manufacturing hub for medical devices. This announcement comes at a time when the Government is actively promoting the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives.Continue Reading Medical Devices Policy, 2023 – A Vision to Streamline Regulation, Incentivise Domestic Manufacturing and Facilitate R&D

Cosmetics Regulation in India

Customised cosmetics have recently grown in popularity, with customers increasingly appreciating the value of personalised rather than off-the-shelf products. Customers often prefer to pick ingredients which suit their skin/ hair characteristics, and associate such unique products with greater effectiveness and functionality. Several cosmetics manufacturers and retailers are already in the race to capture this growing demand in India. However, little attention has been paid to the legal implications and regulatory risks which arise from the import, production, storage, mixing and/ or retail of such customised cosmetics. It is therefore essential for players in this emerging market to be mindful of certain important legal questions and considerations to ensure proper compliance. This is especially in light of the new regulatory landscape, which has been laid down through the Cosmetics Rules, 2020 (“Cosmetics Rules” / “Rules”) and has been rapidly evolving over the past few years.Continue Reading Concept to Compliance: Unveiling the Untapped Realm of Customised Cosmetics Regulation in India