More than 200 000 people ask Novartis to drop its challenge on drug patent

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 01 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:226
  1. Sally Hargreaves
  1. 1London

    As the Indian High Court this week postponed the hearing of the legal challenge by the Swiss drug company Novartis against the Indian government over its refusal to grant the company a patent on imatinib (Glivec), nearly a quarter of a million people from more than 150 countries signed an international petition calling for Novartis to back down.

    Unni Karunakara, from the charity Médecins Sans Frontières, said at a press briefing this week in New Delhi: “Over 80% of the medicines we use to treat AIDS patients come from India, and access to affordable and new drugs for HIV is now becoming imperative as drug resistance grows . . . Sixty seven per cent of India's generic drug exports go …

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