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India’s Supreme Court ruled Monday againstSwiss drug-maker Novartis, which was seeking patent protection for a form of its popular cancer drug Gleevec.
The highly-technical 112-page ruling delves into the intricate chemistry of drug compound formulation, the definition of efficacy, confusing changes to India’s patent laws since before Independence, the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in India and the need to protect India’s role as a cheap drug provider. On page two, the court notes:
The Court was urged to strike a balance between the need to promote research and development in science and technology and to keep private monopoly (called an ‘aberration’ under our Constitutional scheme) at the minimum. Arguments were made about India’s obligation to faithfully comply with its commitments under international treaties and counter arguments were made to protect India’s status as “the pharmacy of the world.”
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(THE NEW YORK TIMES)