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Supreme Court dismisses plea of Novartis for patent of cancer drug

A file photo of protests against Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG’s case against the Indian government on drug patents.

Reuters | Apr 1, 2013, 11.27AM IST

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG’s attempt to win patent protection for its cancer drug Glivec, a serious blow to Western pharmaceutical firms who are increasingly focusing on India to drive sales.

The decision also sets a benchmark for several intellectual property disputes in India, where many patented drugs are unaffordable for most of its 1.2 billion people.

India’s domestic drugs market is the 14th largest globally, but with annual growth of 13-14 per cent and the world’s second biggest population, it has massive potential at a time when traditional developed markets have slowed down.