[Ip-health] Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers explains: Nexavar cancer drug is for "western patients who can afford it.” | Knowledge Ecology International

Claire Cassedy claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Wed Jan 22 12:23:44 PST 2014


Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers explains: Nexavar cancer drug is for "western
patients who can afford it.”

Submitted by James Love on 22. January 2014 - 15:05

Today health advocates were shocked by the direct and appalling statements
attributed to Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers. Published in Businessweek and
written by Bloomberg reporter Ketaki Gokhale, a news story about disputes
over drug patents (link here [2]) ended with an account of the India
compulsory license on the cancer drug Nexavar, and practically exploded.
Dekker is quoted as saying Bayer did not intend the cancer drug to be sold
to cancer patients in India, adding “We developed it for western patients
who can afford it.” From the Bloomberg/Businessweek story:

Under India’s patent laws, compulsory licenses can be awarded for some
products still under patent if the original isn’t available locally at a
reasonable price.

Natco Pharma Ltd. (NTCPH) applied directly to India’s patents office and
was awarded the nation’s first compulsory license in March 2012 to make a
copy of Bayer’s Nexavar cancer drug at a 97 percent discount to the
original product. In March last year, Bayer lost its bid to stop Natco from
making the generic drug and is appealing the decision at the Mumbai High

Bayer Chief Executive Officer Marijn Dekkers called the compulsory license
“essentially theft.”

“We did not develop this medicine for Indians,” Dekkers said Dec. 3. “We
developed it for western patients who can afford it.”

Apparently the December 3, 2013 quote is from an earlier largely overlooked
event hosted by the FT. For more context, note that the Bayer price for
Nexavar was $65 thousand USD, per year, in India, and that Bayer is
currently arguing that the $65 thousand price is "reasonable affordable" to
the India Supreme Court. Dekker's comments will likely be quoted
extensively in India, and I would not be surprised to see them quoted in
the decision rejecting the Bayer appeal.

The U.S. government has weighed in on the side of Bayer in the patent case,
at the highest levels of the India and the US governments. For more on
background on the Nexavar case, see:http://keionline.org/search/node/nexavar[3]

[1] http://keionline.org/user/4
[3] http://keionline.org/search/node/nexavar

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