"The decision to form the National Biodiversity Board is welcome. It has long been a demand for the protection of medicinal plants in the country. The government has also announced the setting up of a New Vaccines Board, which would promote research and development in the field of new drugs. I do not think that the tax incentives for pharmaceutical research and development are a real attraction for companies. Even last year, the government had announced a similar scheme. But it was not of much help. The process of availing such incentives is very cumbersome. And the government has not yet come out with full details as to what type of facilities they would provide to companies."

-- Anantha Narayana,
general manager, research and development, Dabur India Ltd.

"The sops given to the pharmaceutical industry are welcome. But it remains to be seen whether the companies use the incentives for doing research on diseases which mainly affect poor people. Will the pharmaceutical industry like to pass on the benefits to the ordinary and poor people who are basically victims of diseases of poverty such as leprosy, kala-azar, malaria and tuberculosis, among others?"

-- P V Unnikrishnan,
spokesperson for Medico Friends Circle,
a Delhi-based collective of physicians that deals with social issues.

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