In ensuring that innovation is always encouraged and appreciated intellectual property rights play an important role. India has one of the strictest patent laws in the world which also make sure that its pharmaceutical patents are accessible to public at reasonable cost. Indian patent law has always restricted giant pharmaceutical companies from entering the industry by just making minor modifications in their patents. Once a patent for a drug is expired it can be sold in the market for a cheaper price.
The previous year India revoked patents granted to Roche Holding Ag’s hepatitis C drug Pegasys, Pzifer Inc’s cancer drug Sutent and Merck & Co’s asthma treatment aerosol suspension formulation. They were revoked for lacking in innovation. The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has again revoked a patent belonging to a multinational. IPAB has revoked a patent granted to Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline for a breast cancer drug. One of the most prescribed drugs currently in the market which is used to treat an advanced form of breast cancer is Tykerb which is a new version of GlaxoSmithKline’s original anti-breast cancer drug lapatinib. The Indian Authorities has taken this tough decision against slight modification of the patents which is known as ever greening of patents. Last April Supreme Court has denied a patent for a new version of Glivec which is a blockbuster drug for leukemia by Novartis. Of late India has partly revoked a patent granted to Roche Holding AG for its breast cancer drug Herceptin.