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India rejects Novartis patent plea

India's Supreme Court has rejected a plea by Novartis to patent an updated version of its cancer drug, Glivec.

India's Supreme Court has rejected a plea by Novartis to patent an updated version of its cancer drug, Glivec.

The Swiss drugmaker had been denied a patent by Indian authorities on the grounds that the new version was only slightly different from the old.

There were concerns that a patent could threaten access to cheap generic versions of drugs in poorer countries.

But some Western companies had warned that a decision against Novartis could discourage investment in research.

Shilpa Kannan reports from Delhi.

  • 01 Apr
  • From the section Asia