Taking TRIPS to India - Novartis, Patent Law, and Access to Medicines
Janice M. Mueller
Chisum Patent Academy, Inc.
New England Journal of Medicine, p. 541, 2007
U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper
In August and September 2006, patients with cancer, lawyers for patient advocacy groups, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) converged on the offices of Novartis in Mumbai, India, to protest the company's efforts to obtain an Indian patent on Gleevec, the company's brand-name version of imatinib mesylate. Gleevec (spelled Glivec outside the United States) is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia, and Novartis has patented the drug in 35 countries. The protesters also decried the drug's high price: Novartis sells it in India (where only 5% of people have private health insurance) for $26,000 per year; generic-drug manufacturers offer the drug at less than one tenth that price.
This work was originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine (Feb. 8, 2007), at 541-43, Copyright © 2007 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Keywords: patent law, Novartis, Gleevec, Glivec, patient advocacy, imatinib mesylate, patent protection, generic drug manufacturing, Indian Patent Office, pharmaceuticals, inventive step, Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, TRIPS.Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 2, 2009
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