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Patent defeat in India is key victory for Generic Drugs

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spacebarsux:
I don't know whether this is the appropriate forum for this news (The mods may move it elsewhere if it isn't.  :))- but this is great news:

In a landmark decision the Indian Supreme Court has rejected Novartis's patent application for a certain cancer drug-Gleevec- whereby allowing India to manufacture generics which it provides to millions in the developing world. This ruling is great news for all those taking generic HIV drugs as well.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/business/global/top-court-in-india-rejects-novartis-drug-patent.html?hp&_r=0

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21992724

Jeff G:
I confess ... I'm not educated on this issue but I admire India for doing what they have done in regards to getting cheaper meds to the market . Its shameful more nations wont follow suit and grant access to drugs to the people who need them most .

mecch:
An advanced developed nation that respects patents can not follow suit. Thats the dilemma. The whole system falls apart. The thing they can do is negotiate cheaper drug prices from the patent holders. Maybe shorter protection times.. 

Patent holders are legal businesses, and have obligations to their executives and shareholders..  Doesn't make it right that millions are caught in the squeeze on drug-prices, however. 

Also I agree these are human rights issues, because its about sickness and death, pain and suffering... So patents on drugs that prevent the above... hmmm... Not exactly the same as preventing iPhone clones....

spacebarsux:
Yeah, it is a bit of a contentious issue- as on the one hand pharma companies do spend time and money on research and so patenting drugs recovers some of the cost, not to mention they're obviously profit-driven, but on the other hand these drugs need to be made affordable to the millions in the developing world.

This particular decision is basically a firm 'no' against the practice of 'evergreening' that big pharma companies employ- the practice of getting fresh patents for making only minor changes to existing medicines whose patent has expired. In which case it has nothing to do with research and, in my opinion, it's just greed.

As far as I am concerned it's a great decision. Had it gone the other way it would most likely have jeopardized the access of all generic drugs in the developing as well as developed world- including HIV drugs.

Jeff G:
I was being gracious before and I wholeheartedly agree with India's decision . Drugs are getting to some people who need them and that trumps any argument anyone may have about the merits of letting people die to protect a patent .

I agree with the statement that our current method of doling out treatments would be in jeopardy if the whole world followed suit . I don't see the current system falling apart from what happens in India though , and that gives the rest of the world time to ponder what's enough of a profit where life is concerned .

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