India Revokes Roche Patent in New Blow for Big Pharma

Published: Nov 05, 2012

India dealt a fresh blow to the international pharmaceutical industry on Friday as its patents appeal board revoked a patent granted six years ago on Roche's hepatitis C drug Pegasys. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) cited a lack of evidence that the drug was any better than existing treatments and its high price as reasons for the decision. Pegasys was the first medicine to win protection in 2006 under India's new patent regime and the revocation will rekindle tensions between New Delhi and global drugmakers worried by the country's tough stance. The decision follows another high-profile setback for the industry in March, when India granted the first ever compulsory licence to domestic drugmaker Natco to sell cheap copies of Bayer's cancer drug Nexavar.

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