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