India's patent appeals office has rejected international drug maker Bayer AG's plea to stop an Indian company from manufacturing a cheaper generic version of a patented cancer drug.
The ruling passed on Monday is being hailed as an important precedent for getting inexpensive life-saving drugs to the poor.
The German company had filed an appeal against the Indian patents office's decision last year to grant a compulsory license to local drug manufacturer Natco Pharma to produce a generic version of its kidney and liver cancer treatment Nexavar.
Bayer sells a one month supply of the drug for about $5,600. Natco's version would cost Indian patients $175 a month.