Thursday, August 09, 2007

Novartis loses India Patent case

This is almost certainly good news for those of us who are concerned about global justice, and the availability of medicine to those in the developing world. The New York Times reports in this article: Setback for Novartis in India Over Drug Patent

Novartis sought to determine whether an Indian court had been right to deny a patent on a modified form of the Novartis leukemia drug Gleevec, known in Europe and India as Glivec. The application was rejected on the grounds that the new drug was insufficiently different from the previous version.

In effect what the ruling does is uphold Indian law which prevents very minor 'innovations' or changes to an existing medication being used as a basis for a new patent application.