[Ip-health] WSJ: India Divided on Whether to Break Bristol-Myers Drug Patent

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Sat Nov 29 15:11:33 PST 2014


Biden's wife runs a cancer charity, funded by AstraZenaca and other
companies.   For his day job, he tried to stop India from granting
compulsory licenses on over priced cancer drugs.


* In trade talks, the Indian government has been under pressure from the
U.S., which thinks New Delhi isn’t doing enough to protecting American
pharmaceutical patents. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice
President Joe Biden both raised the issue on their visits to India this
year.

* “We are treading cautiously and not blindly accepting any recommendations
for issuing a compulsory license,” the official at the Trade Ministry, who
didn’t want to be identified, told The Wall Street Journal.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/india-divided-on-whether-to-break-bristol-myers-drug-patent-1416304089

Asian Business News

India Divided on Whether to Break Bristol-Myers Drug Patent

Trade Ministry Is Opposed to Allowing Local Production of Leukemia Drug
Dasatinib

By
Rajesh Roy
connect
Nov. 18, 2014 4:48 a.m. ET

NEW DELHI—The Indian government is divided about whether to break a patent
on a Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. BMY +0.32% cancer drug.

India’s Trade Ministry is opposed to allowing local pharmaceutical
companies produce the U.S. company’s leukemia drug, Dasatinib, through what
is called a compulsory license as it doesn’t see an urgent need to break
the patent, said a trade ministry official.

Compulsory licenses are a part of patent law that allow companies to copy
and produce patented pharmaceuticals without the consent of the patent
owner. They are supposed to be issued only when authorities decide there is
an emergency or a national urgency to make the drug cheaper or more readily
available.

The Health Ministry had earlier recommended local manufacturing of generic
Dasatinib be allowed because the chronic myeloid leukemia drug is too
expensive for most Indians.

In trade talks, the Indian government has been under pressure from the
U.S., which thinks New Delhi isn’t doing enough to protecting American
pharmaceutical patents. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice
President Joe Biden both raised the issue on their visits to India this
year.

“We are treading cautiously and not blindly accepting any recommendations
for issuing a compulsory license,” the official at the Trade Ministry, who
didn’t want to be identified, told The Wall Street Journal.

The Trade Ministry’s department of industrial policy and promotion has
expressed its doubts about the need for a compulsory license for the drug
and sent the Health Ministry nine questions to answer about why it thinks
there is an urgent need for the drug to treat a relatively rare condition,
the official said.

Bristol-Myers Squibb declined to comment on the discussions.

Indian authorities have so far issued only one compulsory license for local
manufacturing of a patented drug. In 2012, Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma
524816.BY -1.68% was allowed to manufacture and sell a generic version of
Bayer Corp.’s patented cancer drug Nexavar.

Write to Rajesh Roy at rajesh.roy at wsj.com



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