Patent fight in India centers on AIDS drug

May 11, 2006

A patent application covering tenofovir, a major AIDS drug, has started a major patent fight in India.

If the drug is granted a patent, the manufacture of cheaper versions of tenofovir in India will become illegal, making the drug too expensive for many patients in developing nations, The International Herald Tribune reported Thursday.

The suit challenges Indian patent laws designed to control that country's large pharmaceutical industry, which has long specialized in making cheaper copies of Western manufactured medicines, the newspaper said.

The Indian patent office says it has received about 9,000 patent applications, most from international pharmaceutical companies.

But patient advocates warn the developing world's access to a wide range of vital generic drugs made in India might become jeopardized.

The Delhi Network of Positive People and the Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS filed a formal protest Tuesday to a patent application from U.S.-based Gilead Sciences for the drug tenofovir.

The patient rights group argues tenofovir is not a new drug, just a modified version of an earlier drug, and therefore is not eligible for a new patent under India's laws.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Will rapprochement mean new research collaborations between Cuba and the U.S.?

Related Stories

India denies revoking Roche patent, says it lapsed

August 6, 2013

India on Monday denied revoking additional patents related to Roche Holding's breast cancer drug Herceptin, saying the Swiss giant failed to follow legal procedures so the applications lapsed.

UNICEF discloses vaccine prices for 1st time

May 29, 2011

UNICEF is for the first time publicizing what drugmakers charge it for vaccines, as the world's biggest buyer of lifesaving immunizations aims to spark price competition in the face of rising costs.

Recommended for you

Chimpanzees shed light on origins of human walking

October 6, 2015

A research team led by Stony Brook University investigating human and chimpanzee locomotion have uncovered unexpected similarities in the way the two species use their upper body during two-legged walking. The results, reported ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.