India has complained to the World Trade Organisation against some of the European nations confiscating Indian generic drugs being shipped to South America and Africa via Europe.
"We have taken it up in the WTO," Joint Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion N N Prasad told PTI.
In separate incidents in February and March, the Netherlands had confiscated blood pressure control and anti- HIV drugs going to Brazil, Columbia and Nigeria. The consignments were sent by Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharmaceuticals.
India’s $12-billion pharma industry gets 40% of its revenue from exports of generic drugs across the world.
Few Indian companies have been given permission by countries in Africa to manufacture and supply life-saving drugs which are otherwise patented to big multinational firms. This permission is granted by the 'national governments' under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement of the WTO.
The TRIPS agreement was amended at Doha in 2001 allowing "compulsory licensing" powers to the 'national governments' in case of drugs meant to fight endemic diseases.
India has argued in the WTO and bilateral meetings with the European nations that its pharmaceutical firms are not violating any global agreements and laws.