Updated on 1 April 2013
Supreme Court of India rules against Novartis' chronic myeloid leukemia drug Glivec or Gleevec's patent (Image source-Novartis)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India has ruled against Novartis in a historic seven-year legal battle involving Novartis' chronic myeloid leukemia drug, Glivec (known in Europe as Gleevec). The apex court rejected the firm's plea for the grant of the patent for the drug molcule.
Novartis had applied for a patent for the beta-crystalline version of the drug, on the basis of increased safety due to the modifications in the chemical entity. Glivec, which costs a patient about $2,600 a month, can now be manufactured as a generic by pharma firms, thus reducing its price to only $175 per month.
The loss of Novartis has been hailed as a win over the notorious practice of evergreening of pharma giants. Novartis can now apply for a review petition, but experts claim that it will not have much impact on course of the decision.