1. Should pharmaceutical companies be granted patents in less developed

1. Should pharmaceutical companies be granted patents in less developed countries? Debate both sides of this issue.

2. Discuss another example of multinational companies having difficulty expanding into India.

India's Supreme Court delivered what might be the final nail in the coffin of pharmaceutical innovation in India by rejecting Novaritis' attempt to win patent protection for a potentially life-saving drug. The ruling comes after more than six years of legal battles. Other multinational pharmaceutical companies have suffered setbacks related to patents as well. Bayer's patent for its expensive cancer drug was revoked after being challenged by an Indian generic drug manufacturer and Bayer was even ordered to issue a license to the Indian company so it could copy Bayer's drug and sell it for one-thirtieth the price Bayer charged. Roche also had a patent revoked after challenges from local companies and health organizations. India reluctantly agreed to offer patent protection after joining the World Trade Organization in 1995, but it seems reluctant to grant or maintain patent protection to multinational pharmaceutical firms. India is a fast-growing market, with its pharmaceuticals demand expected to reach almost $50 billion by 2020, an increase from its current $11 billion. However, this market is dominated by low-cost Indian generic drug producers, and India's government seems bent on protecting that industry. The Supreme Court ruling was praised by public-health advocacy groups, such as Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), who see this as a way to get low-cost drugs in India and other developing nations, since India is the largest supplier of low-cost HIV and other drugs to these nations. Novaritis' drug, Glivec, costs almost $2,000 per month compared with $200 per month for comparable generic versions in India, which didn't help the company's case. However, the company claims that 95 percent of 16,000 patients taking Glivec in India receive it free of charge through a company support program.


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