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Article

India’s Patently Wise Decision

The Indian Supreme Court’s refusal to uphold the patent on Gleevec, the blockbuster cancer drug developed by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, is good news for many of those in India suffering from cancer. If other developing countries follow India’s example, it will be good news elsewhere, too: more money could be devoted to other needs, whether fighting AIDS, providing education, or making investments that enable growth and poverty reduction. But the Indian decision also means less money for the big multinational pharmaceutical companies. Not surprisingly, this has led to an overwrought response from them and their lobbyists: the ruling, they allege, destroys the incentive to innovate, and thus will deal a serious blow to public health globally. These claims are wildly overstated. Indeed, there is a growing consensus among economists that the current IP regime actually stifles innovation.

Part of the following stories

India: Supreme Court rejects Novartis’ plea for patent on cancer drug - ruling will enable patients to continue to buy several life-saving medicines as more affordable generic drugs

Novartis lawsuit (re India patent law & access to medicine)