The project titled Consolidating Capacities and Conversations on Access to Medicines took forward Sama’s work on access to medicines, with the aim of examining the new drugs which have undergone clinical trials in India and have been approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). It is a research study that examines how patents on pharmaceutical products affect the prices, accessibility and affordability of medicines, making healthcare out of reach of the majority number of patients needing the medicines.
The study closely examined the patent related data along with other factors, including disease condition, presence of generics, prices of drugs selected for the study, cost of treatment of those drugs and assesses if the drugs are affordable. It intended to use the evidence to support advocacy and policy initiatives at improving accessibility and affordability of medicines in the country.
The study assessed whether patents are a reason for the increased cost of medicines. Apart from this, the study also examined the number of patents on a given drug and looks at whether multiple patents on a single drug is causing extension of monopoly and delaying competition. In this context, the study analysed whether the public health safeguards introduced in the Patent (Amendment) Act have been met and whether the patents are being worked, if not whether a case for the grant of compulsory license could be made.