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The Supreme Court cleared the decks for Indian drug manufacturing companies to make available life saving medicines to patients in India at a cheaper rate, by coming to the rescue of cancer patients.

A bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai dismissed a petition of Swiss pharma giant Novartis for permission to get the cancer medicine Glivec permanently patented in India.

The apex court dismissed the petition holding that such evergreen patents/monopoly in the manufacture of the medicine can be granted only to original inventioner/innovator.

One month course of the medicine for blood cancer costs Rs 1.2 lakhs while the generic drugs manufactured by the Indian companies for the patients of blood cancer costs only Rs 8,000 per month.

The expenditure of Rs 1.2 lakhs per month is beyond the reach of common man in India.

With judgement, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for making life saving drugs in India available at reasonable prices.

Granting patent to a pharma company in the country means that no other company can manufacture the medicines apart from the company which has got patent rights meaning thereby that the company having patent rights will have monopoly and can also fix the prices of the medicines at will.

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