minister Anbumani Ramadoss has said that the government
is "very concerned" over Swiss drug multinational
Novartis AG''s challenge to Indian patent laws that seek
to restrict the global supply of cheap anti-AIDS drugs.
has filed a petition in the Madras High Court in Chennai
against Indian patent laws that do not allow the patenting
of minor improvements to known molecules, arguing that
Indian the patent system stifles innovation and that
a tightening of intellectual property laws would increase
investment for developing more drugs.
if an adverse outcome of the court case could affect
the supply of affordable anti-AIDS drugs from India,
Ramadoss told reporters in New Delhi, "We urge
Novartis to desist from this and withdraw from this."
health minister warned that the government may be forced
to overrule patents and resort to compulsory licensing
to produce vital drugs in the public interest, if it
was forced to do so.
said so far the India had refrained from compulsory
licensing, but it should not be forced to do so.
week, a two-judge bench of the Madras High Court reserved
its verdict on the Novartis challenge against the Indian
patent system, and also turned down an appeal against
the rejection of a petition turning down patent cover
for its anti-cancer drug Glivec.
application was rejected because the drug was a new
form of a known substance.
groups have been vociferous in their criticism of the
Swiss drug maker''s attempt to protect its profits over
the wider needs of poor HIV / Aids patients, particularly
the sub-Sharan African countries.