India’s options for improving affordable access to lifesaving patented medicines.

Nair, Gopakumar G

Abstract

On the lines of the cautionary observation made by the Hon’ble SupremeCourt in Para 156 of the Lordships’ order on Gleevec[i],the ongoing Patent litigations in India seem to be equalling or crossing thecost estimates of US Patent litigations. Doha Declaration has not madeaffordable access to lifesaving medicines as expected. Exemptions and Legalprovisions enshrined in the Patents Act, 1970(such as Compulsory Licence andRegulatory exemptions) are also being denied and delayed  through protracted litigations burdening theIndian Pharma SME sector. It is, therefore, desirable to look at and evaluateoptions available to India for improving and facilitating affordable access tolifesaving medicines within the Indian Patent legal system. Such options arediscussed herein.[i] Novartis AG v. Union OfIndia & Others, Civil Appeal Nos. 2706-2716 of 2013 and Civil AppealNo. 2728 of 2013 and Civil Appeal Nos. 2717-2727 of 2013 Supreme Court of Indiaorder dated April 01, 2012, http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgs1.aspx?filename=40212(05 September 2013).

Keyword(s)

Compulsory Licence,Dasatinib, Protracted litigations, affordable access to lifesaving patentedmedicines, Competition Act, Government use, Licence of right, ObligatoryLicence.

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