[Ip-health] Reuters and Times of India articles: Bayer's plea for stay on Nexavar generic in India dismissed

Joanna Keenan-Siciliano joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Tue Sep 18 04:13:26 PDT 2012

Articles from Reuters and the Times of India on the rejection of a stay
petition by Bayer against the compulsory licence for generic versions of
cancer drug sorafenib tosylate. Important to note that the weekend's
decision was on the stay petition, not on the main matter of the compulsory
licence itself, which is still pending.

Bayer's plea for stay on Nexavar generic in India dismissed
Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:53pm IST

(Reuters) - An Indian patents appeals board on Friday dismissed Bayer AG's
petition seeking a stay on the "compulsory license" issued to India's Natco
Pharma for selling generic copies of cancer drug Nexavar in India, a
spokesman for the board said.

The decision is a setback to the German drugmaker, which had sought to
block the entry of Natco's generic version of Nexavar, which the Indian
firm has been told to sell at 8,800 rupees ($160) for a monthly dose.

"The stay petition is dismissed but the main matter is pending," the
spokesman told Reuters over the telephone from the southern city of Chennai
on Monday.

"We are disappointed with the decision of the Intellectual Property
Appellate Board to reject the stay petition on the compulsory license
granted to Natco for Nexavar," a Bayer spokesman in India said in an
e-mailed reply.

The company would rigorously continue to defend its intellectual property
rights, he said.

An official at Natco Pharma said he had not seen the order.

Bayer had challenged the Indian patents office's compulsory license order
and the matter is pending with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
The final judgement is expected to take a few more weeks.

According the compulsory license order, Natco has to share 6 percent
royalty on sales of generic Nexavar with Bayer. The German firm sells the
kidney and liver cancer drug in India at 280,000 rupees for a month's dose.

"This decision once again affirms that governments can and should act in
the interest of public health to bring the price of patented medicines
down," said Leena Menghaney, a manager in New Delhi for Medecins Sans
Frontieres, which relies on Indian-made generic drugs to treat AIDS and
other diseases in Africa and many poor countries.

India's $12-billion drug market is seen by major western drugmakers as a
huge opportunity, but they are wary of the level of protection for
intellectual property in a country where generic medicines account for more
than 90 percent of sales.

Times of India
Intellectual Property Appellate Board dismisses Bayer's appeal against Natco
Rupali Mukherjee, TNN | Sep 17, 2012, 10.46PM IST

MUMBAI: The Intellectual Property Appellate Board has dismissed Bayer's
request for a stay order against the compulsory license granted by the
Patent Controller to Natco on cancer drug, Nexavar, earlier this year.

In its appeal before the IPAB, Bayer had said that the CL decision of the
Indian Patent Controller is illegal and unsustainable, and had filed for an
immediate stay during the pendency of the appeal.

""This decision rejecting the request for a stay on the CL, once again
affirms that courts can and should act in the interest of public health in
the case of pharmaceutical products,"" said Leena Menghaney, of Medecins
Sans Frontieres'. ""The high prices caused by patents in India are a
growing problem that needs to be grappled with: one year's treatment costs
over $1700 for one of the newer HIV medicines we use in our project in
Mumbai, and will be needing across the developing world. This price needs
to come down, and we hope that the routine use of compulsory licensing may
be one way of making this happen.""

Public health experts had welcomed the grant of a compulsory licence issued
in March this year to allow a more affordable version of, sorafenib
tosylate to be marketed. India's first compulsory licence is seen as a
prospective watershed for affordable access to patented medicines, by
potentially opening the way for other life-saving drugs - such as the
newest drugs used to treat HIV - now patented in India and priced out of
reach to be produced by generic companies for use across the developing
world at a fraction of the price.

The CL brought the price of the patented liver and kidney cancer
drug,sorafenib tosylate, down from over $5,500 per month to $175 per month;
a price reduction of 97%.

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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