A fair Share

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

TRIBALS and patent rights activists have something to cheer for. In the first instance of its kind, the Kani tribe dwelling in the Agastyar hills in southern Kerala, will get the rights over an anti-stress drug developed by the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI). The tribe had helped locate the plant from which the drug was developed.

Under the rights, 50 per cent of the licence fee and two per cent of the royalty would go to the tribe. According to TBGki director, P Pushpangadan, the drug 'Jeevani' (Trichopus zey1nicus) had restorative, immuno-enhancing, anti-stress properties. The tribe's habit of consuming the leaves of the tiny plant which is known among them as Arogyapacha (health drug), was discovered by the scientists who developed the drug after@ two years of trial.

For starters, 50 tribal families will be growing the plant for commercial use. The TBGRi has transferred the know-how of the drug to Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore, which will purchase the raw material from the tribe, develop the drug and market it.

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