Log in
Please enter your login details

Skip to main content

Breaking News
  • Burkina Faso: President Compaoré announces his resignation, says presidency is now vacant – Reuters quoting Radio Omega
  • Blaze at France’s public radio HQ in Paris is now under control, according to firefighters (AFP)
  • The euro has fallen below $1.25 for the first time since August 2012
  • A convoy believed to be carrying ex Burkina Faso President Compaore seen travelling towards the southern town of Po, near Ghana
  • Burkina Faso: Colonel in the presidential guard announces resignation of President Blaise Compaore (Burkina24 television via Reuters)
  • France: local media quote Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo as saying no one was injured in RadioFrance HQ fire, stations to start rebroadcasting soon
India rejects Novartis drug patent
close share panel

Share this article

Twitter Facebook

India’s Supreme Court has rejected a request by Swiss drug-maker Novartis to patent an updated version of its cancer drug Glivec.

Glivec costs around 2,000 euros per month whereas the domestically produced generic equivalent costs around 140 euros.

The judgement is supported by healthcare activists who want the government to make medicines cheaper.

Neena Manghaney from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) said:

“It’s hugely significant because eight million people with HIV are on treatment from India more than 80 percent of these people get these drugs from India.

In the area of HIV, this decision is path breaking. Number 2 is this: By protecting generic competition and abusive practices of pharma companies like Novartis, I think the Supreme Court has safeguarded the rights of patients across the developing world.”

The ruling is a blow to Western firms who are increasingly focusing on India to drive sales.

Pratibha Singh, an advocate for Indian drug-makers, said there is no ambiguity in the Supreme Court’s decision:

“One implication is clear that the Indian provision, Section 3d has been completely upheld ,No1?No2, patent would be granted only for genuine inventions and repetitive patenting will not be allowed.”

This case is a benchmark for several intellectual property disputes in India, where patent drugs are unaffordable for most of its 1.2 billion people, 40 percent of whom live on less than a euro per day.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

More about:

Check out today's top stories