(Bloomberg) — The Access Campaign of Medecins Sans Frontieres, the French charity also known as Doctors Without Borders, is asking the Indian government not to weaken what it calls “pro-public-health patent law,” the organization said in a statement yesterday.
MSF asked India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to give in to “pressure” from the foreign pharmaceutical industry and change its law to favor patent holders.
In March 2012, India’s Controller of Patents issued a compulsory license to Natco Pharma Ltd. to make a generic form of sorafenib, a drug used to treat kidney and liver cancer. The patented drug was developed by Bayer AG and sold under the name of Nexavar.
Under India’s patent laws, compulsory licenses can be awarded for some products still under patent if the original isn’t available locally at a reasonable price.