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Indian authority withdraws patent for interferon granted to Roche

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7499 (Published 06 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7499
  1. Meera Kay
  1. 1Bangalore

India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board has repealed the patent granted to the drug company Roche for pegylated interferon alfa-2a (Pegasys), which is used to treat hepatitis C.

The board’s order represents a watershed in the history of patents in India and a victory for patients’ groups fighting to widen access to drugs.

“This is India’s first successful post-grant opposition case,” said Eldred Tellis, director of the Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, a non-governmental organisation that had challenged the patent. “And it is significant because the patent granted to Roche in 2006 was the first product patent on a medicine in India after …

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