Novartis says it distributed Glivec worth crores for free

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 13 2012, 07:27am hrs
Swiss drug major Novartis AG on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it has distributed its blood cancer drug Glivec valued at over R7,567.68 crore free of cost to Indian patients during 2002-2011.

The pharma major also undertook before a bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam that in the event of patent being granted to it in India, it would continue its patient assistance programme, under which it gives Glivec free of cost or at subsidised rates, till July 2018, subject to there being no further regulatory price control or direction in relation to the product under dispute.

Novartis AG is fighting for grant of patent to its blood cancer drug in India, which was denied by the patent authorities.

In early July 2009, the patent application for Glivec was rejected by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board as it failed to satisfy the efficacy requirements of the Indian Patent Act.