The Indian Supreme Court dismissed Swiss drug maker Novartis International AG’s attempt to win patent protection for its cancer drug Glivec.
The Indian Supreme Court on April 1, 2013 denied a patent to Novartis International AG for the medicine Glivec (imatinib mesylate) for the treatment of various forms of cancer. While this decision is seen as a discouragement for western pharmaceutical firms targeting India to drive sales, it has saved a country of a population of 1.2 billion from non-availability of unaffordable patented drugs.
Speaking during a visit to the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma said the court decision was “absolutely justified” under the intellectual property rules of the World Trade Organization, known as the TRIPS agreement. “What is good, to allow people to die or to make the medicine available? That’s the larger question,” he said.
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