lunes, 20 de abril de 2009

Novartis "pierde otra" en la India...

In yet another setback to Swiss drug multinational Novartis AG, the Indian patent office has rejected its application to secure a patent for an alfa crystal form of its blockbuster cancer medicine, Glivec.

The patent office had earlier refused patent protection to the beta crystal form of the same medicine, a decision that has been challenged by Novartis in the Madras High Court.

Glivec is a key blockbuster medicine and a global money spinner for Novartis. However, the company says 99 per cent patients on Glivec in India get it for free and the others who pay for the drug are reimbursed.

The ruling of the patent office, which came on March 30, was based on the pre-grant oppositions filed by Indian drug firms Sun Pharma, Okasa and Time Cap Pharma Labs Pvt Ltd against the five-year-old application of Novartis.

“Novartis is disappointed that the patent for the alpha crystalline form of imatinib mesylate (chemical name of Glivec) has been rejected, even though the impact of the decision is low. We have 90 days to review the merits of the decision and to evaluate and decide our options,” said Ranjit Shahani, vice-chairman and managing director, Novartis India.


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