[Ip-health] Rajasingh on India-US dispute over patents on dasatinib, a drug to treat leukemia

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Fri Oct 24 05:15:13 PDT 2014

It's like the 1990s all over again.  Jamie


Rajasingh on India-US dispute over patents on dasatinib, a drug to treat

link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU-JLDq02CE See also:

Video script:

My name is Elizabeth Rajasingh.

I want to talk about a trade dispute between India and the United States,
involving patents on a drug for leukemia.

Dasatinib is a drug sold by Bristol Myers, under the name Sprycel, for
patients with Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Ph+ chronic myeloid

First registered in 2006, Sprycel has been highly profitable. In 2013, BMS
earned $1.3 billion in sales, and more than $3 billion over the past three

The current cost of treatment with Sprycel in the US is more than $100,000
a year.

The current cost of treatment with Sprycel in India is around $31,000 a
year. To put that number in perspective, the annual per capita income in
India is only $1,570.

The price at which BMS decides to sell Sprycel puts treatment out of reach
for the majority of patients, worldwide, who need the drug.

In response to its high cost of treatment, the Indian Ministry of Health
requested a compulsory license on the patents for Dasatinib.

A compulsory license on the dasatinib patents would allow generic
competition, leading to more affordable prices.

However, following the United States Trade Representative's announcement of
an out-of-cycle review of India's Status in the Special 301 Report, the
Indian government has delayed making a decision on the matter, citing
concerns that a compulsory license would have a negative impact on US/Indo
foreign relations.

The Special 301 Report is essentially a list of countries who are potential
intellectual property rights offenders.

Officials in India believe that USTR wants to pressure and intimidate the
Indian government into blocking a compulsory licence on Dasatinib.

We are asking Ambassador Michael Froman, the head of USTR, to meet with
health groups about the dasatinib compulsory licensing issue. If USTR is in
fact blocking the compulsory license, we want them to stop doing so. If
USTR does not object to the compulsory license, we want USTR to make that

When we know more, we will post an update.

James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love

More information about the Ip-health mailing list