Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of India’s largest biotechnology company Biocon, expressed concern with India’s innovation environment in a recent interview with Livemint. When asked if the Indian government fosters innovation Ms. Shaw responded:
“I am very concerned about the wrong signals we are sending to the world. We have not done anything substantial to build India as a strong global economy. We have wasted a lot of opportunities. We behave like the world needs us and our policy needs to be accepted by the global community… The government has created a business-unfriendly climate. They have systematically destroyed investor climate in the country…”
Ms. Shaw also commented on the recent patent litigation in India:
“We have lost sight of practical reality. We are only talking about how the poor man is suffering and how anything to do with wealth creation is bad. We have gone back to the old era of socialistic values where anyone wealthy should feel guilty about it. This business of redistributing wealth rather than creating new wealth is a huge step backwards.
Healthcare is the softest target for any economic policy. Today, the government has abdicated its responsibility to provide basic healthcare to its people but it’s pointing a gun at the industry and saying “you provide it”…”
Finally, on compulsory licensing:
“India is respecting IPR (intellectual property rights). I don’t think there is any getting away from that, but this whole notion of compulsory licensing based on affordability has to be booted out. I think CL based on drug shortage or public health emergency or pandemic is fine. But you can’t be issuing CL because of the affordability…if you really want compulsory licensing, then one must be fair to the innovator.”