India and drug #patents : The Ghost of #Glivec haunts #Sovaldi

Dr Kristina LybeckerApothecurry welcomes back guest columnist Dr Kristina Lybecker. Her latest column is an elegantly simple “where the rubber hits the road” exposition of the recent rejection of patents on US biopharma company Gilead’s Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi in India. Coincidentally, Gilead’s European patent on Sovaldi was challenged yesterday by charity Medicins du Monde marking yet another interesting turn of events in this breakthrough drug’s eventful life. Read on as Dr Lybecker explains how the Indian Patent Office’s decision rather than aiding clarity in the understanding of India’s patent rules has only muddied the waters. Continue reading “India and drug #patents : The Ghost of #Glivec haunts #Sovaldi”

Scoop : Sandoz shutters India formulations R&D

Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis AG, has decided to shutter a second research and development (R&D) centre in India in under 12 months.  This time it is the formulations or finished dosage forms R&D unit located in Kalwe, near Mumbai, that is facing closure affecting 147 employees. Continue reading “Scoop : Sandoz shutters India formulations R&D”

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”

Straws in the wind? Sandoz to shut API devt centre in India

Sandoz, the world’s second-largest generic drugs company and a unit of Swiss drug maker Novartis has decided to shut its active pharmaceutical ingredients or API development facility near Mumbai.  A Novartis spokesperson said in an e-mail to this writer that this was part of “recent project portfolio optimization within Sandoz Global Development.” Continue reading “Straws in the wind? Sandoz to shut API devt centre in India”