Bayer 'disappointed' after losing India patent fight

September 26, 2012

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG on Wednesday said it was "disappointed" with an Indian ruling that allows a local firm to produce a cheaper copy of its patented drug Nexavar for liver and lung cancer.

The German company's reaction came after India's Appellate Board patents' watchdog this month rejected its appeal to suspend the sale of the drug's cheaper copy by Natco Pharma Ltd.

The watchdog in March had ruled the price Bayer charged for was "exorbitant" and "out of reach" of most Indian patients.

It ordered Bayer to give a so-called "compulsory licence" to Natco to produce the drug locally, a decision the drug giant appealed against.

"We are disappointed with the decision of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board to reject the stay petition on the compulsory license granted to Natco," Bayer spokesman Aloke Pradhan told AFP in an emailed statement.

Pradhan reiterated the company's earlier stand that Bayer would "rigorously continue to defend our ".

Drug firms insist they need for medicines to recoup the cost of long years of research and development.

Under the 's TRIPS Agreement, which governs trade and intellectual property rules, compulsory licences are a legally recognised means to overcome barriers in accessing affordable medicines.

The Indian ruling in March marked the first time a "compulsory licence" for production of a patented drug had been granted in the country of 1.2 billion people.

India has long been a key provider of cheap to the developing world as it did not issue drug patents until 2005, when it was obliged to adhere to WTO intellectual property regulations.

Since then newer medicines have increasingly been patented in the country, keeping prices high.

Under the ruling, Natco will pay Bayer a six percent royalty on sales of the drug and sell the medicine for 8,800 rupees ($165) a month—compared to the 280,000 rupees ($5,320) the company charges.

Experts have said the Indian ruling could pave the way for a rush of other "compulsory licence" applications in India and other poor nations, allowing access to patented life-saving drugs at a fraction of the cost.

Explore further: Bayer challenges India cancer drug ruling

Related Stories

Bayer challenges India cancer drug ruling

May 6, 2012
German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG has challenged a ground-breaking Indian ruling that allowed a local firm to produce a vastly cheaper copy of its patented drug for kidney and liver cancer.

Bayer mulls challenge to India cancer drug ruling

March 13, 2012
Bayer AG said Tuesday it was mulling ways to challenge a ground-breaking Indian ruling allowing a local firm to produce a vastly cheaper copy of a cancer drug made by the German pharmaceutical giant.

India licenses generic copy of patented Bayer drug

March 12, 2012
(AP) -- India effectively ended Bayer's monopoly on a patented cancer drug Monday, licensing a much cheaper generic under a unique law aimed at keeping costs affordable.

India firm shakes up cancer drug market with price cuts

June 17, 2012
Indian pharmaceutical tycoon Yusuf Hamied revolutionised AIDS treatment more than a decade ago by supplying cut-price drugs to the world's poor -- and now he wants to do the same for cancer.

India patent case threatens cheap drug supply: MSF

September 5, 2011
Supply of cheap, copycat drugs for the developing world could be badly threatened if Swiss firm Novartis wins a challenge to India's patent law, medical charity MSF said on Monday.

Indian drug giant Cipla slashes cancer drug prices

May 4, 2012
Indian drugs giant Cipla said Friday it has slashed by up to 76 percent prices of generic medicines used to treat brain, lung and kidney cancer in what the company called a "humanitarian move".

Recommended for you

Drug for spinal muscular atrophy prompts ethical dilemmas, bioethicists say

December 11, 2017
When the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for people with spinal muscular atrophy a year ago, clinicians finally had hope for improving the lives of patients with the rare debilitating muscular disease. ...

FDA's program to speed up drug approval shaved nearly a year off the process

December 7, 2017
Speeding the pace at which potentially lifesaving drugs are brought to market was a rallying cry for Donald Trump as a candidate, and is a stated priority of his Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. ...

Dangers of commonly prescribed painkillers highlighted in study

December 6, 2017
Commonly prescribed painkillers need to be given for shorter periods of time to reduce the risk of obesity and sleep deprivation, a new study has revealed.

Viagra goes generic: Pfizer to launch own little white pill

December 6, 2017
The little blue pill that's helped millions of men in the bedroom is turning white. Drugmaker Pfizer is launching its own cheaper generic version of Viagra rather than lose most sales when the impotence pill gets its first ...

Surgery-related opioid doses can drop dramatically without affecting patients' pain

December 6, 2017
Some surgeons might be able to prescribe a third of opioid painkiller pills that they currently give patients, and not affect their level of post-surgery pain control, a new study suggests.

Four-fold jump in deaths in opioid-driven hospitalizations

December 4, 2017
People who end up in the hospital due to an opioid-related condition are four times more likely to die now than they were in 2000, according to research led by Harvard Medical School and published in the December issue of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.