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India’s rejection of drug patent could reverberate

April 1, 2013 • Business


A cameraman films the head office of Novartis India Limited in Mumbai, India, Monday, April 1, 2013. India’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected drug maker Novartis AG’s attempt to patent a new version of a cancer drug Glivec, in a landmark decision that healthcare activists say ensures poor patients around the world will get continued access to cheap versions of lifesaving medicines. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The India Supreme Court’s rejection of a patent for an improved version of a costly cancer drug by Novartis AG could have big implications for the world’s largest drugmakers.

The ruling, which was handed down on Monday, signals the latest shift in the world of drug development in emerging markets such as India and Brazil, where drugmakers have been looking for growth.

Western governments routinely grant patents for slightly improved versions of medicines whose patents are about to expire. That enables drugmakers to get many patients to upgrade to their new, generally more expensive versions rather than the cheaper, Login to read more

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