[Ip-health] Business Standard: Bayer fails to block generic cancer drug in Supreme Court

Shailly Gupta shailly.gupta at geneva.msf.org
Fri Dec 12 21:22:52 PST 2014



(Reuters) - German drugmaker
<http://www.business-standard.com/search?type=news&q=Bayer> Bayer has failed
in a last-ditch attempt to block the sale of a cheap generic version of its
<http://www.business-standard.com/search?type=news&q=Cancer> cancer drug
Nexavar in India, after the Supreme
<http://www.business-standard.com/search?type=news&q=Court> Court ruled
against it on Friday.

The decision, which upholds earlier rulings, will be seen as a blow for
global drugmakers' efforts to hold on to exclusivity on high-price medicines
in India.

Indian generics group Natco Pharma said the highest court had dismissed
Bayer's challenge to a compulsory licence allowing it to sell a copycat
version of the medicine, which is used to treat kidney and liver cancer.

Under a global Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
agreement, countries can issue compulsory licences on certain drugs that are
deemed unaffordable to a large section of their populations.

But Bayer has been fighting this compulsory licence, arguing that it weakens
the international patent system and endangers pharmaceutical research.

The German group said it was disappointed by the Supreme Court decision and
its legal experts were evaluating the verdict. "We are analysing the order
and will determine any future course of action afterwards," a spokesman

Natco was first given permission by the Indian patents office in 2012 to
sell generic Nexavar at 8,800 rupees ($141) for a month's dose, a fraction
of Bayer's price of 280,000 rupees. Bayer challenged this decision in the
long-running case.

Western pharmaceutical groups have a lengthy history of patent problems in
India, which has a thriving generic drugs industry and a large population
for whom patented drugs are unaffordable.

In a much higher profile case last year, Swiss drugmaker Novartis suffered
another defeat in the Supreme Court when its attempt to win patent
protection for its cancer drug Glivec was dismissed.

Indian courts have in recent years also revoked patents granted to other
international drugmakers, including Pfizer , Roche and Merck .

($1 = 62.5150 rupees)

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)



Shailly Gupta

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