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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Swiss drugmaker Novartis calls judgment discouraging

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  New Delhi/Mumbai, April 01, 2013
First Published: 13:03 IST(1/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:00 IST(1/4/2013)

Novartis on Monday termed the judgment as “discouraging” and warned that though it will continue to introduce new products in India, it will now invest “cautiously”.

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“A decision regarding the Novartis breakthrough medicine Glivec provides clarification on Indian patent law and discourages innovative drug discovery essential to advancing medical science for patients,” said Ranjit Shahani, vice chairman and managing director, Novartis India.

The verdict is likely to put other foreign firms on the backfoot in the Indian drug market and may also hit the research on cancer drugs in India, said experts.

“Already, the US was looking at India as a more risky geography in terms of patents and the patent protection,” said Shardul Pradhan of Quant Broking.

“So, now what we will have to see is how the West reacts to this decision and how they perceive India and how this will affect decisions on bringing new drugs to the Indian market.”

However, the decision may also extend right signals to other players. “The decision is legally sound and would impress the genuine stakeholders,” said Pawan Duggal, advocate for Intellectual Property Rights, Supreme Court.

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