President Obama wants India and other countries to hike drug prices even for lifesaver cancer drugs. This is exactly opposite to what he wants to implement in US, as he is pushing his signature law to lower health care costs. Moreover, the Obama administration is quite categorical in stating that they need to implement strategies for affecting drug pricing outside US by using “international political muscle”.
Obama’s move can be seen as a response to the testimony given two weeks ago by US Patent and Trademark Office deputy director, Teresa Stanek Rea. The cancer drug being offered by the American company Bayer AG comes at a price of $5000 for standard monthly doses. India has developed an alternative for the drug called the Nexavar. It costs only $157 for the same amount of standard doses.
Rea has opposed the move of Indian government stating it to be a violation of the treaty India signed with the World Trade Organisation. The intention of Obama administration can be gauged by the fact that Bayer’s earnings touching $3.4 billion last year. Even the generic Indian drug manufacturer has to pay a six per cent royalty to Bayer for selling its drug.