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U.S.-India Business Council Mobilizes Coalition for Healthy India
Date:3/18/2008

Seeks Harmonization of Regulatory Structures

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt Encourages Private Sector to 'Lead Change' to Ensure Safety/Quality

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) hosted the Honorable Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary Leavitt shared with Industry leaders his observations from his recent visit to India, recommending collaboration as a means to improve healthcare outcomes for patients around the world.

Secretary Leavitt spoke about his aspirations for additional scientific, regulatory and technical collaboration between the U.S. and India. In his remarks, he also described how India's burgeoning spice industry has adopted market principles to ensure access to U.S. markets. Secretary Leavitt referred to this anecdotally as the 'red pepper principle', which encourages the market, not regulatory enforcement, to foster international best practices and quality control. Important to consumers worldwide, Secretary Leavitt expressed confidence that with the entrepreneurial synergies inherent in the U.S.-India relationship, the 'market before mandate' approach to self-regulation will be a successful model that will foster greater trade while ensuring safety and quality.

Ron Somers, USIBC President, noted "Secretary Leavitt has taken a lead role in advancing the healthcare partnership between these two dynamic democracies, and we are hopeful this will result in increased regulatory harmonization." Mr. Somers went on to state that "having launched the Coalition for Healthy India, USIBC looks forward to continued engagement with Secretary Leavitt's team as we work towards raising the standard of patient care, the development of new treatments and cures, ensuring access and affordability, getting medicines safely to patients, and promoting corporate social responsibility."

A central goal of the Coalition for Healthy India is to foster greater regulatory harmonization between the U.S. and India, resulting in decreased costs and increased patient safety.

The U.S.-India Business Council, formed in 1975 at the request of the Government of India and the U.S. Government to advance U.S.-India commercial ties, is hosted under the aegis of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region. The U.S.-India Business Council celebrates its 33rd Anniversary at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 12, 2008 in Washington, D.C. For more information please visit http://www.usibc.com.


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SOURCE U.S.-India Business Council
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