Swiss drug major Novartis AG has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) decision to reject its patent application of blood cancer drug Glivec in India. The case is expected to come up for hearing on Monday.
Novartis' patent claims were turned down by the IPAB on grounds that the drug could not be granted patent under section 3(d) of the Indian Patent Law since it was a new form of a known compound having no significantly enhanced therapeutic efficacy.
Novartis has filed the special leave petition (SLP) with the apex court challenging that the denial of the patent on the basis of sections 3(d) and 3(b) of the Indian Patent Law, according to its press release. The company also contested the IPAB contention citing section 3(b) on the unaffordability for denial of patent as irrelevant.
Novartis said 99 per cent of Glivec patients in India (more than 11,000) receive their medicine free of cost under the company's patient assistance programme. The company's drugs cost Rs1,20,000 per patient per month compared with generic versions costing Rs8,000-10,000.