Patent dispute

A US firm has filed a patent for a jaundice-curing medicinal plant, found in south India

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Close on the heels of neem, turmeric, basmati and isabgo/, an Us-based company, has filed a patent for Phyllanthus Amarus, a medicinal plant used to cure jaun- dice. This plant is found allover south India and is used for the treatment of Hepatitis B.

Meanwhile, several non- governmental organisations have challenged the patent claim. According to shankar Darshan of the Bangalore-based Foundation for Revival of Local Health Traditions. Fox Chase Research Centre. a US company. has filed the patent for it. He said a survey car- ried out by the centre revealed that nearly 8,000 species of medicinal plants were used as part of the local health traditions in the coun- try. Local communities in India have a wealth of medicinal knowl- edge, he said. However. policy makers in India have failed to pro- mote it as a safe herbal remedy.

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