Legal challenge to India’s patent laws threatens access to generic drugs, says charity

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 09 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5753
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

The Swiss multinational drug company Novartis is trying to undermine a key public health safeguard in Indian patent law specifically designed to prevent drug companies abusing patents of known drugs, says the medical aid charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

It says that the success of a legal challenge in India’s Supreme Court would have “a devastating impact on access to affordable medicines across the developing world.”

Novartis is challenging a part of India’s patent law—Section 3(d)—which “read with other provisions of the patent law says that a new form of a known medicine can only be patented if it is not obvious and shows significantly improved therapeutic efficacy over existing medicines,” says the charity.

MSF says …

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