Fierce Pharma reports that Bayer has successfully taken its case to India's high court to block Natco from exporting Bayer's Nexavar to countries outside India. If you remember, Natco was granted a compulsory license in India to make Nexavar for that country's impoverished populace. Natco promptly took the sales price in India down from Bayer's previous $5500 per month (much too expensive for most in India) to only $170 per month. Then another competitor, Cipla, offered its version for only $130 per month.
From Western drug makers' perspective, it is bad enough that compulsory licenses are being awarded and other patents invalidated, without local companies then taking the technology to support an export business. This victory, though how permanent, for the moment established that India's new drug access policies are at least going to be directed internally only and are NOT for export. But the court did allow that Natco could seek an export license from India's Drug Controlling Authority and set a hearing date for that in August. So this ruling may only be a temporary reprieve for Bayer and the rest of the West.
Western lobbyists (US Chamber of Commerce) have asked the the US to tag India as a Priority Foreign Country. A designation that is reserved for the most egregious IP offenders, and one that can lead to US trade sanctions.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Mar 31st 2014.