The verdict in the highly significant Glivec patent case will be delivered on April 1,2013. The case which is currently being heard in the Supreme Court has captivated the attention of the Indian pharmaceutical industry for the far reaching effects that its decision can have on the patent regime in India's pharmaceutical industry.
In 2006, Novartis had started proceedings for acquiring a patent on the beta crystal salt of the active compound of the anti-cancer drug Glivec. Novartis has appealed to the Supreme Court of India for the grant of a patent, based on increased safety due to modification of the naked chemical molecule, thus making it safe for use. You can access more information about this landmark case here and here
Médecins Sans Frontières, an NGO that has been spearheading patient advocacy issues has said that,"Should Novartis be successful, patents would be granted far more broadly in India than they currently are, blocking the competition among multiple producers that drives prices down, and restricting access to affordable medicines for millions in India and across the developing world."
While industry insiders are eagerly awaiting the verdict, recent events such as BDR pharma applying for a secondary compulsory license for BMS' cancer drug Sprycel, the revocation of two patents of Roche and Pfizer, in separate cases has set a trend of decisions in favor of generic companies. It remains to be seen, what the verdict on April 1st will be and more importantly, the effect it will in not just India, but also other developing nations.