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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20572

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Brougher J
Evergreening patents: The Indian Supreme Court rejects patenting of incremental improvements
Journal of Commerical Biotechnology 2013; 19:(3): doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5912/jcb614
http://commercialbiotechnology.com/index.php/jcb/article/view/614


Abstract:

On April 1, 2013, the Supreme Court in India handed down its decision to dismiss Swiss drug maker Novartis AG’s attempt to win patent protection for its cancer drug Glivec. In doing so, the Supreme Court held that incremental improvements or modifications to an existing drug are not patentable under India’s patent laws. While the ruling may have allowed India to maintain its ability to manufacture generic drugs, the ruling has increased the challenges that pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies face in obtaining patent protection in India. In the long term, these challenges may prove to have far greater implications for the biotechnology industry that go beyond merely the patentability of one drug product. In view of this recent decision, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are undoubtedly re-evaluating their foreign patent strategies.

 

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...to influence multinational corporations effectively, the efforts of governments will have to be complemented by others, notably the many voluntary organisations that have shown they can effectively represent society’s public-health interests…
A small group known as Healthy Skepticism; formerly the Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing) has consistently and insistently drawn the attention of producers to promotional malpractice, calling for (and often securing) correction. These organisations [Healthy Skepticism, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International] are small, but they are capable; they bear malice towards no one, and they are inscrutably honest. If industry is indeed persuaded to face up to its social responsibilities in the coming years it may well be because of these associations and others like them.
- Dukes MN. Accountability of the pharmaceutical industry. Lancet. 2002 Nov 23; 360(9346)1682-4.