Board revokes patent on Roche hepatitis drug
MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's patents appeal board has revoked a patent granted to Roche's hepatitis C drug Pegasys, citing a lack of evidence the drug is superior tp existing treatments, and its high price.
The decision is another setback for large pharmaceutical companies in India, which earlier this year granted the first ever compulsory licence to domestic drugmaker Natco (NATP.NS) to sell cheap copies of Bayer AG's(BAYGn.DE) cancer drug Nexavar.
Global drugmakers see India's $12 billion drug market as a huge opportunity, but they are wary of protection for intellectual property in a country where generic medicines account for more than 90 percent of sales.
Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, an advocacy group for cheaper medicines, challenged the Pegasys patent with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, saying the drug was costly and gave the Swiss company a monopoly in the market for the drug.
The market price of Pegasys is 436,000 rupees for 48 weeks of treatment, and it is also available at a discounted price of 314,496 rupees, Sankalp said in a statement.
Pegasys is to be taken in combination with another drug, ribavirin, which costs 47,160 rupees for the same period, Sankalp added.
The appeals board on Friday termed Sankalp's plea "valid."
Roche, which can appeal the decision to India's Supreme Court, could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Kaustubh Kulkarni; Editing by Tony Munroe and Helen Massy-Beresford)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- In his native Alabama, Apple CEO's announcement he is gay prompts discomfort for some
- Judge rejects strict limits on U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients |
- SEBI piles pressure on Sahara to sell overseas hotels
- China expresses concern about Indian plan to build border posts
- US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 end at record highs; BoJ move adds fuel to rally
Shares Hit Record
The BSE Sensex and Nifty surged to record highs for a second consecutive session on Friday after Bank of Japan's surprise expansion of its massive stimulus programme raised hopes for additional foreign inflows, boosting blue-chips such as Larsen & Toubro. Full Article
China's shadow banking sector growing rapidly, third largest in world - FSB. Full Article