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SC dismisses Novartis’s Patent Plea on Cancer Drug

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In a huge blow to Swiss drug maker Novartis, the Supreme Court of India on Monday dismissed its plea for a patent on its cancer drug Glivec. The ruling suggested that the cancer drug, which costs Rs 1.2 lakh for a monthly dosage, would be cheaper in the country.

The apex court’s ruling is likely to affect several other pharmaceutical companies in India where many patented drugs are unaffordable for treatment of the diseases like cancer and tumours.

Glivec is a major advance in treating chronic myeloid leukaemia, which kills 80-90 per cent of cancer patients. Other drug makers in India can now introduce a generic version of the drug, which can cost about Rs 10,000 a month.

The court said that Glivec failed the test of innovation under Patent Act and that repetitive patent was not permissible.

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