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PhRMA attacks Indian courtís Glivec patent ruling

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America attacks an Indian court ruling to deny patent protection for Novartis' cancer drug, Glivec

According to US media reports, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a representative body of US drug firms, has attacked an Indian court ruling to deny patent protection for Novartis' cancer drug, Glivec (imatinib).

PhRMA said the decision would weaken incentives for new innovations in India. Members of the association have invested approximately USD 43bn in 2006 to aid the discovery and development of new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record USD 55.2bn in 2006.

PhRMA's CEO Billy Tauzin said: "We are disappointed the Indian court dismissed the challenge to Section 3 (d) of India's 2005 Patent Law. We are concerned that the result is likely to be reduced patient access to better medicines discovered through incremental innovation."

"Breakthrough innovations are important but rare in medical research. Most medical advances like in other technological fields happen by incremental innovation; that is, innovation that builds on previous inventions," added Tauzin.

14th August 2007

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