Archive for April, 2013
The long-awaited verdict on the latest appeal by Novartis was issued April 1 , to the relief of health justice advocates and patients in India and around the world. For seven years now, Novartis has challenged India’s patent laws which apply to Glivec, their brand of the cancer drug imatinib mesylate ( which the company spells as “Gleevec” in North America, to uniformize pronunciation) , an action which portended grave global problems for access to costly drugs in general. India’s high court ruled that the form of Glivec which the company wished to patent was not a new drug which would merit such status. The ruling is important to assure that affordable generic forms of vital medicines can be manufactured, but advocacy efforts will continue to be needed for future drugs. With so much published on the case no need for me to repeat details here , among the excellent sources for those wishing to learn more is Knowledge Ecology International and its IP-Health listserv.