[Ip-health] Fwd: Say No to Novartis

Matthew Kavanagh matthew at healthgap.org
Mon Mar 26 14:16:09 PDT 2012

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jennifer Flynn <jflynn at healthgap.org>
Subject: Say No to Novartis (updated links)
Date: March 26, 2012 4:44:40 PM EDT
To: matthew at healthgap.org
Reply-To: jflynn at healthgap.org

What does a court case in India have to do with ending AIDS? Everything.

India is known as the “pharmacy of the developing world” – thanks to unique pieces of Indian patent law, the country is home to a powerhouse generic medicines industry that produces everything from antiretrovirals to cancer treatments at prices that poor countries can afford. Over 80% of AIDS drugs used in developing countries come from India.

But the pharmaceutical company Novartis is trying to stop that. Will you join Health GAP, SumOfUs.org, and people with HIV around the world calling on Novartis to drop their court case?

Several years ago, India denied a patent for Novartis’ cancer treatment, Gleevec. The drug wasn’t novel enough, the Indian government said – and companies shouldn’t be given patent protection for medicines that are just tiny changes of previously-known chemicals. If they did, Big Pharma would hold onto patents forever (a process called “evergreening”), keeping prices high and life-saving treatments out of the hands of patients in need. When the patent was denied in 2006, Novartis launched a series of court cases that still haven’t been resolved. But this week, the Indian Supreme Court is expected to make final rulings on the Novartis case. Sign the petition to urge them to protect access to medicines.

If Novartis wins their case, a precedent will be set that could drastically limit India’s ability to produce low-cost medicines, including antiretroviral drugs. We learned last year that we can end the AIDS pandemic through universal treatment, but if the drugs go up in price, we won’t be able to save as many lives or prevent as many new infections.

Access to medicines is under attack. Through free trade agreements, trade sanctions, and court cases like this one, Big Pharma is trying to increase their profits by ignoring the needs of people with treatable illnesses. Stand up for the right to health by signing this petition.

Thank you,


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