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[e-drug] Chennai High Court ruling: Novartis response #2

E-DRUG: Chennai High Court ruling: Novartis response #2
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Dear all,

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.

Regards

Muhammad Shafique
Pharmacist,
Caritas Paksitan,
Earth-quake Response Programme,
Mansehra, Pakistan.
shafique_tabish@hotmail.com
0092-333-2668016

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From: policy.global@novartis.com
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

Fair campaign

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 
Novartis case.
  
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.  

Continued dialogue

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 
www.novartis.com.
   
Sincerely,

Head of Global Public Affairs, Novartis AG

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