India licenses generic copy of patented Bayer drug

March 12, 2012 • National News, World News

FILE – In this file photo taken Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, a pharmacist works in a lab where medicines are being produced at a manufacturing unit on the outskirts of Mumbai, India. India’s patent office on Monday March 12, 2012 effectively ended Bayer’s monopoly on a patented cancer drug by allowing the manufacturing of a generic copy at a fraction of the price. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

NEW DELHI (AP) — India effectively ended Bayer’s monopoly on a patented cancer drug Monday, licensing a much cheaper generic under a unique law aimed at keeping costs affordable.

In a decision likely to upset Western pharmaceuticals, the patent office approved Natco Pharma Ltd.’s application to produce the kidney and liver cancer treatment sorefinib.

Bayer Corp. — a subsidiary of the German pharma giant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — markets sorefinib as Nexavar for about $5,600 a month in India under a 2008-2020 patent, making it “not available to the public at a reasonably affordable price,” the patent office ruled.

“A right cannot be absolute,” it said. The office can force companies to grant Login to read more

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