Landmark verdict gives big boost to cancer patients [India]

Author: J. Venkatesan, The Hindu, Published on: 1 April 2013

In a ruling that will help patients continue to buy several life-saving medicines as generic drugs, the Supreme Court on Monday held that the modification of a well known cancer-fighting drug is not a patentable new invention…The judgment allows suppliers to continue making generic copies of Swiss firm Novartis’ Glivec or Gleevec, which has been shown to fight chronic blood cancer effectively. While the Novartis drug costs more than Rs 1 lakh per month, with doctors often advising patients to take it lifelong, the generic equivalents cost less than one-tenth. The ruling would be a relief to some 300,000 patients in India currently taking the drug.

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Related companies: Novartis