After years of struggling for intellectual property rights over cancer drug Glivec in India, Novartis ($NVS) will now have to fight for patent protection in the U.S. as well.
Bring on the discounts, China says. Former health minister Chen Zhu figures Big Pharma will need to give the government a break on drug costs, in exchange for access to a "huge market," Bloomberg reports.
Today two countries on opposite sides of the world took radically different stances on pharma patents that will have a big impact on the future of drug R&D.
Easter promises to be a nail-biting weekend for Novartis. That's because a final verdict in the big Glivec patent case is due on Monday from India's Supreme Court. So, the Swiss drugmaker will finally win its patent for the cancer treatment--or not.
Novartis and its cancer drug Gleevec had one of those days that starts off not looking so good and then something comes along to turn things around.
India's Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on a patent for Novartis' ($NVS) groundbreaking cancer treatment Gleevec, and Big Pharma and international aid groups are waiting with bated breath to see how it turns out, each for different reasons.
And in a preview of its R&D showcase, the pharma giant--which spent an industry-leading $9.58 billion on R&D last year--offered a bullish assessment of a slate of experimental therapies it believes can break past the $1 billion annual revenue mark.
Why would Novartis want to persuade patients to quit taking Gleevec? Because it is going off patent in 2015, already has more competition and because the company wants patients to start using its replacement therapy, Tasigna, to keep them within its drug-selling fold.
As Ariad, Pfizer and others make strides with their rival antileukemia compounds, Novartis aims to show how its newer therapy Tasigna helps more patients beat their cancer and stop taking the drug than Gleevec does.
So begins the court hearing that major pharma outfits with blockbuster ambitions in India are watching. Novartis has initiated its argument for the patentability of its hit cancer drug Gleevec in India at the start of a hearing on Tuesday in country's high court, Reuters reported.