Times of India
04 January 2011
India has rejected a drug patent application of a US multi–national pharma company, paving way for easy access to an important life–saving medication for HIV patients across the globe. The decision to reject the patent application on the important combination drug, Lopinavir/Ritonavir filed by Abbot Laboratories was given by the Indian patent office here during the weekend and it is a major victory to millions of HIV–positive patients around the globe, according to NGOs working with affected patients.
The Indian patent office has put a halt to the multi–national Abbott Laboratories patenting and said it was not an invention. "India, the world's leading supplier of affordable medicines, can now supply this drug to patients across the globe who are desperately waiting for treatment.
This combination drug is considered to be the frontline of defense for HIV positive patients who have failed to stay healthy with the first round of medicines available currently," Tahir M Amin, Director of Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I–MAK), one of those who initiated legal action against the US company said on Monday.
"This ground–breaking victory for patients sets an important precedent to stop pharmaceutical companies from gaming the patent system, marking a new era of hope for millions of HIV people across the world," Amin said. IMAK was one of the opponents from US and others were Indian pharma companies like Cipla (Mumbai), Matrix Laboratories (Secunderabad) and Okasa Pharmaceuticals (Mumbai).
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