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

Tido von Schoen-Angerer tido.von.schoenangerer at gmail.com
Sun Nov 30 02:01:14 PST 2014


The statement by the Trade Ministry official reminds me of the more blunt statement by a senior Thai Commerce Ministry official in 2000:
“Thailand has committed to the international community not to use poverty and sickness as an excuse in international trade”. He expressed concern that, “if a compulsory license were to be issued, just one million people will benefit, while the rest of the country’s 61 million people will have to pay the price if the US retaliates.” (Bhatiasevi A, Maneerungsee W. Relief remains just out of reach. Bangkok Post, Feb 11, 2000)

Best regards,
Tido

Tido von Schoen-Angerer, MD, MPH
NGO board member UNITAID
Advisor, Health Action International
Dept of Pediatrics, Fribourg Hospital, Switzerland


On Nov 30, 2014, at 12:11 AM, Jamie Love wrote:

> 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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