The India Supreme Court recently rejected drug maker Novartis AG’s attempt to patent an updated version of a cancer drug. This would ensure patients across the globe would have access to cheaper versions of lifesaving medicines, such as Glivec, that is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia. With a generic and more affordable medicine available at a huge price difference, this could be the difference between life and death.
On the other hand, this decision also means that India’s USD26 billion generic drug industry, which supplies most cheap medicines across the developing world could slow down. Many other international pharmaceutical companies are now re-thinking their strategies for the Indian market. Nonetheless, it signifies that Indian companies will now have added legal coverage to produce and export low-cost generic drugs.
How would giving the world access to cheaper medicines affect India?
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