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Novartis battles for exclusive rights to produce Glivec

A long-running legal battle for the right to patent a breakthrough cancer treatment is scheduled to be heard in India's top court on Wednesday.

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is challenging a decision by India's patent office, which denied it exclusive rights to produce the drug Glivec.

It is seen as test-case, and both drug makers and campaign groups will be watching closely to see how the outcome might affect India's generic industry and the affordability of cheap life-saving drugs.

The BBC's Adrienne Murray explains the background to the case.

  • 22 Aug 2012