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Friday 28th October 2016

Novartis petitioned in India

18th January 2007

24082006_indian_women1.jpg International humanitarian group Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is using an online petition to call on Swiss pharma giant Novartis to drop a lawsuit which might block access to cheap, generic drugs in India.

MSF says it has already collected tens of thousands of names, and wants many more to be added to the petition ahead of a court hearing on Jan. 29.

Indian companies have established a reputation for making low-cost, generic medicines which are affordable in the developing world. More than half the antiretroviral drugs used to fight HIV are made by them.

India's laws currently don't allow drug companies to patent products that are seen to be simply new derivatives or combinations of existing drugs. This frees up local companies to do a booming trade in inexpensive copies of the non-patented formulations.



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