La sage décision de l’Inde

NEW YORK – Le rejet par la Cour Suprême de New Delhi de la demande de brevet déposée par le géant pharmaceutique suisse Novartis sur le Glivec, un médicament vedette contre le cancer, est une bonne nouvelle pour les malades indiens atteints d’un cancer. Si d’autres pays en développement suivent l’exemple de l’Inde, ce sera également une bonne nouvelle dans d’autres domaines : plus d’argent pourra être consacré à d’autres besoins, que ce soit la lutte contre le sida, l’éducation ou les investissements destinés à réduire la pauvreté et encourager la croissance.

Mais la décision de la Cour Suprême indienne signifie aussi moins d’argent pour les laboratoires pharmaceutiques multinationaux, qui ont sans surprise réagi de manière excédée en alléguant que ce jugement « allait décourager l'innovation future en Inde », et qu’il constituait un sérieux revers pour la santé publique dans le monde.

Ces affirmations sont largement exagérées. Le jugement de la Cour Suprême indienne fait sens, tant du point de vue économique qu’en termes de politique sociale. Il n’est de plus qu’une tentative locale de rééquilibrer un régime de propriété intellectuelle (PI) qui penche trop en faveur des intérêts pharmaceutiques, au détriment du bien-être social. Il existe en fait un consensus croissant parmi les économistes sur le fait que le régime actuel de PI étouffe en réalité l’innovation.

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