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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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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963