Bayer to defend IP rights on kidney cancer drug Nexavar

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on July 15, 2014

German drug-maker to move apex court on compulsory licence decision

For the third time on the trot, the decision to allow drug-maker Natco to make its less expensive version of Bayer’s advanced kidney cancer Nexavar has prevailed.

But the fight over the country’s first-ever compulsory licence (CL) on a drug — issued to Natco in 2012—is far from over.

Responding to the Bombay High Court decision to uphold the CL on Nexavar (sorafenib tosylate), German drug-maker Bayer said the decision will be appealed at a higher court (the Supreme Court).

“We are disappointed by the decision of the High Court. We will continue to defend our intellectual property rights and appeal this decision,” a Bayer spokesperson said. In the interest of public health, a compulsory licence allows a third party to make an innovative drug on the payment of royalty to the innovator.

IP heartburn

In 2012, India’s Patent Controller PH Kurian took the giant step of issuing the country’s first CL to Natco allowing it to make a less expensive version of the drug, on the payment of a 6 per cent royalty to Bayer.

The decision meant that patients would get a generically similar version of the innovator’s drug, but at a price that was 97 per cent less.

At the time this case was being argued at the Patent Office, Bayer’s Nexavar was priced at ₹2.8 lakh for a month’s supply of 120 tablets, while Natco was to sell its version of the medicine at ₹8,800.

The decision was contested at the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and the IPAB too, upheld the CL decision in 2013, merely revising the payable royalty to 7 per cent.

High-profile debates

The matter then landed up at the Bombay HC doorstep.

The CL on Nexavar has been at the heart of several high-profile debates on intellectual property, where India has been criticised for its implementation of the amended Patents Act and its track-record of protecting innovative research.

Sharing this contentious platform is the other watershed decision from the Supreme Court last March, where Novartis’ application for a patent on blood cancer drug was dismissed.

Published on July 15, 2014

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.