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Indian Supreme Court Delivers Verdict in Novartis Case

Author: Médecins Sans Frontières South Africa, Published on: 2 April 2013

The landmark decision by the Indian Supreme Court...to uphold India's Patents Act in the face of…pharmaceutical company Novartis is a major victory for patients' access to affordable medicines in developing countries...Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) stated today…“The Supreme Court's decision now makes patents on the medicines that we desperately need less likely…”…India began granting patents on medicines to comply with international trade rules, but designed its law with safeguards…that prevent companies from…gaining patents on modifications to existing drugs, in order to ever extend monopolies…In a first case before the High Court in Chennai, Novartis claimed that the Act did not meet rules set down by the World Trade Organisation and was in violation of the Indian Constitution. Novartis lost this case…but launched a subsequent appeal before the Supreme Court…All of Novartis's claims have been rejected by the Supreme Court…[T]he company has raised concerns about the implications of the decision on the larger question of financing of medical innovation...

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Related companies: Novartis