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.
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.