Importance of Patents for India

Importance of Patents for India

04.08.13 | By Mark Grayson

On April 1 the Indian Supreme Court rejected a patent for Gleevec, one of the most effective cancer therapies currently in use. This is part of a disturbing trend in India, and in an op-ed in Pharmalot, John Castellani argues that this was, "A curious determination given that this week the New York Times described Gleevec as: 'widely recognized as one of the most important medical discoveries in decades' -- a sentiment that many patients who rely on medical breakthroughs to improve or extend their lives would certainly share." Mr. Castellani notes that, "India's actions in the Gleevec case and other instances of intellectual property infringement mean that innovative biopharmaceutical companies seeking to invest in India face far greater risk and uncertainty than ever before. While Indian generics manufacturers will profit in the short term, in the long run these decisions mean that India's patients could face delays in gaining access to the newest medicines." Further on, Mr. Castellani looks at what actions are necessary for India and other countries to have an environment that is conducive to innovation-one that "support(s) development of major breakthroughs to fulfill patients' hopes for health and better address the world's most pressing medical challenges." As the world relies on innovative biopharmaceutical researchers to develop new cures and treatments, protecting innovation remains the cornerstone for ensuring cutting-edge medicines reach patients as quickly as possible. For more on the research that innovative companies are doing around the world, look at the recent work by the Analysis Group which highlights that more than 5,000 innovative medicines are in development.

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