August 16, 2005

Indian pharmaceutical exports to Chile are growing rapidly with current levels expected to triple by the end of 2006. The trend reflects the increased efforts by Indian drugmakers to expand aggressively in emerging markets, where intellectual property rights are often poorly enforced. A lack of patent protection allows manufactures to market copy drugs that would not be permitted in more regulated markets such as the EU, Japan or the US. In Chile, Indian products represent a low-cost alternative to the high-value branded medicines produced by multinational drugmakers.

Industry observers predict the activity of Indian drugmakers in the market will drive development in Chile's generics drug sector. At present, generic drugs account for around 10% of the market, in value terms, although this could be pushed to as much as 15% in the next few years. Despite recent reforms to intellectual property laws, foreign drugmakers are still unhappy with current legislation in the country citing a lack of protection for test data and continuing patent violations.