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SC verdict on cancer drug patent today

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 31, 2013
First Published: 23:37 IST(31/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:38 IST(31/3/2013)

The Supreme Court on Monday will deliver its verdict on pharma giant Novartis AG’s plea claiming patent right in India over its blood cancer drug Glivec.


The Swiss company has sought for a restraint order against Indian companies from manufacturing generic drugs.

A bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakas Desai heard the arguments of Novartis and Indian companies for over two and a half months before reserving its verdict on December 4 last.

The judgment on Novartis’s petition would have far-reaching consequences on the availability of affordable drugs in India.

A month’s dose of Glivec costs around Rs.1.2 lakh, whereas generic medicines produced in India by local drug manufacturers is just Rs.8,000.

A patent on the new form could give Novartis a 20-year monopoly on the drug.

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