India rejects Bayer’s cancer drug appeal
The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has decided to uphold a compulsory license allowing Natco Pharma to manufacture and sell generic versions of Bayer’s anti-cancer drug, Nexavar (Sorafenib).
The German pharmaceutical company had appealed against the grant of a compulsory license after it was issued to Natco Pharma in March 2012. It was the first use of compulsory licensing under Indian patent laws passed in 2005. Under the rule, Natco must pay 7% in royalties to Bayer.
Bayer currently sells a one month supply of Nexavar for approximately US $5,600. However, Natco’s generic version would cost Indian patients US $175 a month.
“The court does not decide for, or against, a company. It takes a decision based solely on public interest. The price of a drug should be seen from the point of view of the public affordability and not based on R&,D expenses.”
Justice Prabha Sridevan, chairman of IPAB, who pronounced the ruling at a marathon six hour sitting.
Bayer has expressed it’s strong disagreement with the appeal panel’s decision and has said it would pursue the case in the high court in Mumbai, India.
IPAB allows Natco Pharma to sell Nexavar, stock gains (Economic Times, India)
Bayer to challenge India cancer drug ruling (BBC News)
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