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More battles in store [India]

Author: Aarti Dhar, The Hindu, Published on: 7 April 2013

Well before the Supreme Court rejected Novartis’ application for patent for Glivec (Gleevec in the U.S.), drawing attention to the dichotomy of generic and patented drugs, activists have been demanding access to expensive drugs used in the treatment of cancer, hepatitis C and serious HIV. Trastuzumab is one such, used in the treatment of HER2+ type of breast cancer, which affects about one in four patients with the disease…. Kalyani Menon-Sen (women’s activist), Leena Menghaney (lawyer), and Third World Network have written to the Prime Minister, appealing that Trastuzumab be made available free to patients in government hospitals, and at affordable cost in the open market…Another group of health activists has demanded that the government either reject the patents given to hepatitis drugs or issue compulsory licences…HCV treatment is unavailable in the public healthcare system and not affordable in the private sector.

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