Global Trade Practices

Many developing countries like India and china refuse to grant meaningful patent protection to drug companies because it is likely to raise the cost of prescription medications to levels far above the average person's ability to pay for them. Currently, the pharmaceutical industry in these and most developing countries consists mainly of chemical companies that copy and manufacture new medications developed by large multinational drug companies in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Only when countries like India and China finally pass meaningful patent laws will the clinical research flood-gates open up in these nations, and we will then find out which of these traditional remedies really work for which disorders. Some of these traditional medications have been claimed to be effective against literally dozens of diseases, which is a little ridiculous. Systematic research is needed to find out which of these many claims is indeed valid. Unfortunately, the regulatory bodies in many developing countries have chosen to adopt an antiscientific approach in dealing with traditional medications. For example, the drug controller of India permits marketing of any medication that is described in ancient Indian writings and does not require any evidence whatsoever of either efficacy or safety of the traditional medication in treating a particular condition.

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