05 Aug 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
New Delhi: In what is being criticized as yet another miserable experience created by India's intellectual property and pricing authorities for western drugmakers, the country has partly revoked patents granted to Roche for its breast cancer drug Herceptin.
Confirming the revoke order, a spokesperson of the drug maker told Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that the Kolkata Patent Office had lifted divisional patents for Herceptin on July 17 on the grounds they had not been properly submitted.
"I can confirm that the assistant controller of patents at the Kolkata Patent Office has revoked divisional patents of Herceptin and that we are now considering the further course of action," the Roche spokesperson said.
In August 2012, in order to get rid of problems from India's patent authorities, Roche adapted a business model in India to increase affordable access to drugs. The company introduced cut-price versions of Herceptin and another cancer drug MabThera, under an alliance with Indian generics firm Emcure Pharmaceutics.
This comes as another big blow to western drugmakers who are trying to cash in on India's fast growing drug market.