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”

India’s compulsory licence to Natco : follow-up thoughts

A good starting point to take the healthcare agenda forward

In granting a compulsory licence to Natco on Bayer’s cancer drug Nexavar the patents office has done its job well. It has put a provision in the law meant expressly to balance public good with incentives for innovation to its right use. See Shamnad Basheer’s lucid analysis of the order on spicyip.

But it is important that this not be the predominant or only method deployed by the government to improve drug access and affordability to millions of Indians. Given its visibility, there is a danger of the patents and CL debate hijacking or at the very least taking up prime space in the discussions around  the country’s healthcare agenda at the cost of other, less high-profile, measures that could be equally effective. Continue reading “India’s compulsory licence to Natco : follow-up thoughts”

India’s compulsory licence to Natco : First cut

I quickly read through the Indian Patent Office’s order granting a compulsory licence to Hyderabad’s Natco to make and sell its generic of Bayer’s patented liver and kidney cancer drug Nexavar in India.  While I’m no legal expert and I’ve just speed-read the order, some things just stand out so here goes. Continue reading “India’s compulsory licence to Natco : First cut”