[Ip-health] Bayer keeps cheap Nexavar copy from being exported from India

Tahir Amin tahir at i-mak.org
Fri Mar 28 11:50:41 PDT 2014

Bayer keeps cheap Nexavar copy from being exported from India
March 28, 2014 | By Eric Palmer

Chalk up a win for Germany's Bayer
<http://www.fiercepharma.com/tags/bayer>in its running battle in
India <http://www.fiercepharma.com/tags/india> over a compulsory license
granted to Natco <http://www.fiercepharma.com/tags/natco-pharma> to produce
a cheap knock-off of its cancer drug
The drug is being sold in India but a high court there says that is as far
as the Indian drugmaker can go with it for now.

It is a ruling that gets at the heart of why Western drugmakers so deeply
oppose compulsory licensing laws. Proponents argue they are needed to make
life saving drugs available to its poorest people. But once technology has
been turned over, there is no guarantee the cheap versions won't then be
exported to countries where drug developers can still expect to get full
price for their products.

The Delhi High Court sided with Bayer this week which had sought to have
custom officials seize Natco's copy if it were headed for export, *The
Financial Express* reports. Bayer argued the compulsory license did not
give Natco the right to sell outside of India. The Indian drugmaker
responded by saying it can't help it if distributors it sells to choose to
export the kidney cancer drug. The court said that Natco could seek
permission from the Drug Controlling Authority for export privileges and
then set an August date for further arguments.

India's government in 2012 granted Natco a compulsory license, forcing
Bayer to hand over the technology for marking the drug. Natco soon after
hit the market with a pill that it priced at $170 a month, compared with
Bayer's $5,500 a month cost. India's
Cipla<http://www.fiercepharma.com/tags/cipla>then jumped into the fray
saying it would offer a version for $130 a month.
Bayer continued to fight the ruling, but a year ago an appeals court turned
back its effort, although it did order Natco to increase its royalty
payments to Bayer to 7% from 6%.

Bayer, Roche ($RHHBY <http://www.fiercepharma.com/tags/roche>), Merck
and others have had bitter legal fights over patents in India, which has
taken an activist position on many of their best-selling drugs. The annual
income of many Indians is less than what it costs to buy a month's supply
of a cancer treatment. But it is such a hot-button issue for Big Pharma
that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has asked the U.S. to tag India a
Priority Foreign Country. That is the designation given to the most
egregious violators of intellectual property rights, and one that can lead
to U.S. trade sanctions.

- read the *Financial Express*

Tahir Amin
Co-Founder and Director of Intellectual Property
Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK)
*Website:* www.i-mak.org
*Email:* tahir at i-mak.org
*Skype: *tahirmamin
*Tel:* +1 917 455 6601/+1 646 884 7418/+44 771 853 9472
*Press: *The Guardian http://tinyurl.com/mooycg5 |The New York Times:

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