India cancer ruling opens door for cheaper drugs

India’s move to strip German drugmaker Bayer of its exclusive rights to a cancer drug has set a precedent that could extend to other treatments, including modern HIV/AIDS drugs, in a major blow to global pharmaceutical firms, experts say.

On Monday, the Indian Patent Office effectively ended Bayer’s monopoly for its Nexavar drug and issued its first-ever compulsory license allowing local generic maker Natco Pharmato make and sell the drug cheaply in India.

It is only the second time a nation has issued a compulsory license for a cancer drug after Thailand did so on four drugs between 2006 and 2008, also on affordability grounds. Thailand also issued licenses for HIV/AIDS and heart disease treatments.

Read More: @ REUTERS

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