MSF Applauds Indian Court Ruling in Novartis Case
According to the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the decision by the High Court in Chennai to uphold India’s Patents Act against the challenge by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis is a major victory for patients’ access to affordable medicines in developing countries.
Tido von Schoen-Angerer, director of the MSF Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines said that multinational drug companies and wealthy countries should stop pushing for stricter patent regimes in developing countries.
Novartis took the Indian government to court over its 2005 Patents Act because the company wanted a more extensive granting of patent protection for its products than offered by the law, MSF said.
According to the organization, Novartis claimed that India’s Patents Act did not meet rules set down by the World Trade Organization and was in violation of the Indian constitution. Apparently all of Novartis’s claims have been rejected by the High Court, the organization added.
The organization said that a ruling in favor of the company would have drastically restricted the production of affordable medicines in India that are crucial for the treatment of diseases throughout the developing world.
MSF said a petition urging Novartis to drop the case gathered over 420,000 signatures.