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Indian patients go to court over cancer drug

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7463.419 (Published 19 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:419
  1. Ganapati Murdur
  1. New Delhi

    India's Supreme Court has admitted a petition from an organisation representing cancer patients that challenges the government's decision to grant Novartis the exclusive marketing rights for imatinib, a drug that has emerged as a frontline treatment for chronic myeloid leukaemia.

    The petitioner, the Cancer Patients Aid Association, has said that exclusive marketing rights for the drug would eliminate cheaper generic versions of the drug and make the treatment unaffordable to thousands of patients in India.

    “Shutting down access to the drug by making it unaffordable is tantamount to denying patients the right to life,” said Mr Yogendra Sapru, …

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