[Ip-health] Landmark generic medicines victory Ruling puts human rights before excessive profits - Oxfam
mkamalyanni at oxfam.org.uk
Tue Apr 2 02:42:33 PDT 2013
Landmark generic medicines victory
Ruling puts human rights before excessive profits - Oxfam
International agency Oxfam has hailed the Indian Supreme Court?s ruling
against a patent protection petition filed by multinational pharmaceutical
company Novartis as a huge victory for public health.
By dismissing the Novartis application which was seeking to patent the
anti-cancer medicine Glivec, the Court ?has put public health before
commercial profits? said Oxfam India's CEO Nisha Agrawal.
The ruling allows Indian makers of generic medicines to continue making
affordable versions of the medicine, used to treat chronic myeloid
leukaemia, which kills 80-90 per cent of sufferers.
Agrawal said: ?We?re not against companies making profits, but against
companies charging exorbitant amounts for life-saving medicines in the
name of patents. Patenting this medicine would have defeated the very
purpose of it ? to treat patients? suffering from cancer. This important
medicine would be of no use to cancer survivors if they can?t afford to
Currently, Glivec is priced at $2200 (120,000 Indian rupees) for a monthly
dosage. Today?s ruling will make way for generic version of the medicine
which will cost about $184 (Rs.10,000) a month ? more than 90 per cent
cheaper than the patented version. However, even the generic version may
still not be affordable to millions of patients in India where health
expenditure is one of the most important reasons for indebtedness.
Agrawal said: ?This ruling is cause for celebration. It should put an end
to companies? challenge of the Indian patent law and attempts to evergreen
Medicine patent evergreening is an important strategy that multinational
pharmaceutical companies use to extend excessive profits from so-called
?blockbuster? medicines for as long as possible. Medicine companies try to
extend the patent by slightly modifying the formulation of existing
For further inquiry, please contact:
In Washington: Caroline Hooper-Box
+1 202 496 1173
+1 202 321 2967
Caroline.hooper-box at oxfaminternational.org
In New Delhi: Krishnaswamy Kannan
+91 11 4653 8000
kannan at oxfamindia.org
Dr. Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
Senior health & HIV policy advisor
John Smith Drive, Oxford, OX4 2JY, UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 1865 472290
UK Mobile + 44 (0)777 62 55 884
Skype Mohga Kamal-Yanni
Follow me @MohgaKamalYanni
Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering.
Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International and a company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 612172.
Registered office: Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY.
A registered charity in England and Wales (no 202918) and Scotland (SC 039042)
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