The patent war with Big Pharma

Major pharmaceutical companies have recently locked horns with Indian courts over the issue of patents. India has conformed with international patent regulations, but is negotiating aggressively to defend its own drug industry, which produces excellent generic medicines used in many developing countries.

India’s Supreme Court has definitively rejected Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG’s request to recognise the patent on its drug Glivec (known in the US as Gleevec), a medicine widely used in the treatment of leukaemia.

Indian drug companies are now free to legally produce and distribute generic versions of the medicine, with an immediate economic
impact for roughly 300,000 cancer patients in the country.

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