[Ip-health] Bayer/Natco compulsory licence appeal – hearings postponed

Joanna Keenan-Siciliano joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 03:21:19 PDT 2012

*Bayer/Natco compulsory licence appeal – hearings postponed*

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has learnt that India's Intellectual
Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in Chennai has postponed hearing the appeal
by German pharmaceutical company Bayer over the granting of a compulsory
licence to generic company Natco until Monday 3 September.

In March 2012, India issued its first ever compulsory licence allowing
Natco to produce more affordable versions of the cancer drug sorafenib
tosylate patented by Bayer. India’s Controller of Patents deemed that Bayer
had failed to price the drug, marketed as Nexavar, at an affordable level
and had made insufficient efforts to make the medicine available.

This landmark move brought the price of the drug down 97 per cent, from
over US$5,500 per month to $175 per month. Natco was instructed to pay a
six per cent royalty on sales to Bayer. Significantly, the decision
potentially opens the way for other drugs patented in India and priced out
of reach to be produced by generic makers for use across the developing
world at a fraction of the price. New medicines which are now patented in
India – which include medicines to treat HIV, for example – are too
expensive for those who need them most, meaning a solution to bring these
prices down needs to be found urgently.

For background information on the compulsory licence, please see here:

*Joanna Keenan*
Press Officer
Médecins Sans Frontières - Access Campaign
E: joanna.keenan[at]geneva.msf.org
T: twitter.com/joanna_keenan


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