E-DRUG: Chennai High Court ruling: Novartis response #2
Below herewith is the response of Novartis Pharma on Indian Patent Act...
Please this letter from Novartis should also be considered because
multinational companies do matter when it comes to the research and development
and their right to get money out of that product must not go unavailed. It is
simply like if you make a cake at your home, you would love to eat first then
ask others to have shares. Although, this case was concerned with emergency and
life saving drug but more better options should be put up i.e. asking the
patent company to decrease rates on humanitarian principles.
Earth-quake Response Programme,
Subject: Chennai High Court ruling on Novartis legal action
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 10:39:49 +0200
To the signatories of the Oxfam Make Trade
You have previously emailed Dr Vasella regarding the Novartis legal action in
India. We thank you for your interest in this issue and we value open and
constructive dialogue on this important subject. That is why we would like to
share with you our perspective on the outcome of this court case.
This case is important to Novartis, and has always been about gaining clarity
on how innovation is valued and protected in India. We brought this case
forward because we firmly believe it was the right thing to do for patients.
We have received support from patients and other groups, thanking Novartis for
our ongoing commitment to providing new and better medicines. Earlier this
year, we received a banner with thousands of Indian signatories supporting the
Court decision will limit medical progress
As it stands, the Indian patent law will hinder research and development into
better medicines for patients in India and abroad. Medical progress occurs
through incremental innovation, and part of the law significantly limits
advances in the form of incremental innovation.
Following the rejection of the patent application for our cancer drug, Glivec,
Novartis challenged one provision of the Indian patent law. We hoped to clarify
whether or not the Indian patent law was constitutional and compliant with
India?s World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations under the TRIPS agreement.
On Monday, August 6, the Court dismissed the constitutional challenge and
deferred to the WTO to resolve the question of TRIPS compliance. Novartis will
likely not appeal the decision.
A shared concern: patients and access to medicines
Changing the Indian patent law would not hinder the supply of medicines from
India to poor countries. Access to medicine is protected by safeguards in place
in international agreements. There is much that can and should be done to
improve healthcare in the world?s least developed and developing countries, and
Novartis recognizes the responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry,
governments, nongovernmental organizations and others to be part of a solution.
We firmly believe safeguarding intellectual property protection stimulates
research into new and better medicines for patients.
Dilemma in emerging markets
In India, Novartis is faced with a globalization dilemma that characterizes
many emerging economic powers today: two markets within one country. India has
a booming middle class on one hand, and a vast number of extremely poor people
on the other. As a result, in India we are pursuing a dual, patient-focused
strategy. We are aware of the many obstacles poor patients face regarding
access to medical care there, and that is why 99% of patients who receive
Glivec in India receive it free from Novartis. At the same time, we take
affluent India seriously as a formidable world power with all the international
rights and obligations that such status brings with it, and we seek effective
protection for genuine pharmaceutical innovation in India.
The dialogue on the deficiencies of the Indian patent law will continue among
all stakeholders, ensuring incentives are in place to bring innovative
medicines to patients. We have advanced this essential debate in India, and
will continue to participate in this important discussion. You will find more
extensive background information on the case and our position at
Head of Global Public Affairs, Novartis AG