India continues it adminsitrative attack on drug makers' IP. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board revoked the patent on Roche's Pegasys hepatitis C treatment. Maybe they don't like flying horses? In fact, they didn't like Roche's patent extension from pegylating the drug and said it didn't enhance efficacy compared to existing treatments. This will open the door to cheaper generic alternatives in India.
This is India's second override of a big pharma company's patent. Earlier this year, Bayer was forced to grant a compulsory license to Natco for Bayer's Nexavar cancer med. In both cases, one of the main issues seems to be the perceived high price of the innovator medicine compared to what generics competitors would offer in the market. This is a big deal to movers and shakers responsible for India's healthcare policy.
"This victory will facilitate early entry of generics which is likely to lower prices. If this happens, millions suffering from hepatitis C, both in India and globally will benefit," said Anand Grover, senior counsel and director of Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit (a patient advocacy group).
Not only are we targeting lower prices in India but apparently for the World too! A Roche spokesman retorted that the company remained "concerned that a policy of neglect for patent rules would inhibit research into future treatments." No Drugs for You, India.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Nov 6th 2012 - Get the Vote Out