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Novartis AG (NVS) Loses Cancer Drug Glivec Patent Case


4/1/2013 6:47:15 AM

India's top court dismissed Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG's attempt to win patent protection for its cancer drug Glivec, a blow to Western pharmaceutical firms targeting India to drive sales and a victory for local makers of cheap generics. The decision sets a benchmark for intellectual property cases in India, where many patented drugs are unaffordable for most of its 1.2 billion people, and does not bode well for foreign firms engaged in ongoing disputes in India, including Pfizer Inc and Roche Holding AG, analysts said. Among the chief beneficiaries of Monday's Supreme Court ruling will be India's Cipla Ltd and Natco Pharma Ltd, which already sell 'generic' Glivec in India at around one-tenth of the price of the branded drug. "The multinational companies will have to find new ways of doing business in India," said Deepak Malik, healthcare analyst at brokerage Emkay Global, suggesting they may consider licensing agreements with local firms to offer cheap versions of branded drugs like Glivec.

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