What does Glivec ruling imply for generics? My piece in Sunday ET

In case some of you were waiting for Apothecury’s take on the Glivec judgement, I was waiting for this piece that I did for the Sunday Economic Times to be published. In a nutshell, in the article I explain why, as far as India’s generics industry is concerned, the Glivec outcome is not really a new win but more like savouring the same victory twice over.  You can read the piece here. (Please ignore the New Delhi dateline in the story, I still operate from Mumbai).

Pic courtesy photostream of 757Live on Flickr.

Guest column on India & drug patents: Can the US force policy change?

The pharma giant Pfizer wants the US government to act more aggressively to defend the interests of the research-based pharmaceutical sector in India. Will it succeed?

The path from lobbying in Washington, D.C, to a change of policy in India is a long and uncertain one involving multiple steps. First, Pfizer needs to convince Congress that action against India is warranted. Second, Congress needs to get the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to apply pressures on the Indian government. And third, the pressures would need to be effective. In this post, I discuss the third link in the chain. Continue reading “Guest column on India & drug patents: Can the US force policy change?”

Guest column : Indian patent rulings and impact on emerging economies

Dr Kristina LybeckerRecent Indian patent rulings, as well as those to come, are changing the intellectual property rights (IPR) landscape for emerging economies. They are watched with keen interest by other developing nations to measure the response of innovative pharmaceutical firms and the global community. Whether or not they are precedent-setting remains to be seen.  Continue reading “Guest column : Indian patent rulings and impact on emerging economies”

Beyond Glivec : Balancing innovation and public health

I’d like to introduce a guest column by Dr Kristina Lybecker, Associate Professor of Economics at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Kristina is an economist with a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. She specialises in innovation and intellectual property rights and has been writing on these issues for 12 years. She is currently employed full-time at Colorado College.

Sometime in the near future India’s Supreme Court will judge whether Glivec, a blood and stomach cancer drug hailed as a breakthrough in cancer treatment, deserves a patent in India. In doing so, the Court will rule on an important  section in India’s patent law that seeks to prevent frivolous patenting and one that Novartis, the company behind Glivec, is accused by critics to have fallen foul of. Continue reading “Beyond Glivec : Balancing innovation and public health”

Guest post : Why the compulsory licence to Natco is a bad idea

I’d like to introduce a guest post from Ranga Iyer, former MD of Wyeth Limited and a drug industry veteran. He is currently an independent advisor to Indian and foreign drug companies on strategy, policy, as also mergers and acquisitions.  In 2009, Ranga, then president of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India,  was ranked the 33rd most influential pharma leader in the world by UK’s World Pharmaceutical Frontiers. While this blog has welcomed the compulsory licence issued by the Patent Office to Natco, Ranga has raised some strong arguments against. The views expressed are personal and do not reflect those of any organisation that he has professional relationships with.

Media and civil society have hailed the Indian Patent Office’s decision to grant a compulsory licence to Natco to make a generic of Bayer’s liver and kidney cancer drug Nexavar.  But there is more than one reason why this licence will hurt innovation while doing little to enhance affordability. Continue reading “Guest post : Why the compulsory licence to Natco is a bad idea”