India invalidates Novartis drug patent and the Times cheers because it will help po’folk. Well don’t the disadvantaged need the New York Times too?
NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court rejected a Swiss drug maker’s patent application for a major cancer drug Monday in a landmark ruling that allows cheap copies of important medicines to continue being distributed in much of the world.
The ruling allows Indian makers of generic drugs to continue making copycat versions of the Novartis drug Gleevec — also spelled Glivec in other markets, like Europe — which can have a seemingly miraculous effect on some forms of leukemia.
But the ruling’s effect will be felt well beyond the limited number of patients in India who need Gleevec because it will help maintain India’s role as the world’s most important provider of cheap medicines, which is critical in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
The ruling Monday is bound to be seen with some concern by the United States and the international pharmaceutical industry and may be yet another blow to India’s standing among major multinational companies, many of whom view protection of their intellectual property as vital to their business interests.
Filthy businessmen, placing profits before people. I blame Bush.