Congratulations Kalyani Menon-Sen and Activists!

Message from Kalyani Menon-Sen  –

Mark – the judges have just spoken – we won!!!!!! I am over the moon!!!!!!! –

on the Supreme Court of India ruling today against Pharma Giant Novartis bid to patent cancer drug in India.

Congratulations Kalyani and all the other activists!!!

Now continue to keep up the pressure too on Roche…


The Supreme Court has ruled that Novartis’ leukemia drug Glivec cannot be granted patent protection in India.

Glivec costs  INR 120,000 (around USD 2400) per dose. This judgement opens the door for generic  production of the drug. The generic version is expected to be at least 95% cheaper.

For those who are not familiar with the details of this case, which has been going on since 1997 – Novartis tried to get an Indian patent for a ‘new’ version of the drug which was just the same old molecule with a tiny cosmetic change. The Patent Controller in Chennai denied the patent on the grounds that it was not a new invention. Novartis challenged the ruling in the Chennai HC and lost; then went to the IP Appellate Board and lost again; and now has finally lost in the Supreme Court.

This is a HUGE defeat for big pharma  and an equally big boost for our Trastuzumab Campaign and for the Right to Health movement.

The Trastuzumab patent that has been issued by the Kolkata Patent Office is being challenged by us on the same grounds – this judgement sets a very strong precedent. We are already in the process of drafting a plea for patent revocation under Sec 66 of the Patents Act (the section that deals with the ‘new invention’ issue).

This judgement also has implications for the Indo-EU FTA.