Our Previous post (click here) detailed a land mark decision in India regarding the judgment to stop the evergreening of patents in Novartis vs Union of India case.
Following this decision, many countries tend to look upon the Pharma evergreening issue. Recently,Canada, Argentina, and Australia, are also rejecting what many view as “frivolous” patent extension applications.
To add to this list, South africa plans to make tougher laws for pharma sector. The country claims, by doing this, it would bring cheaper medication for cancer and HIV/AIDS, a country where HIV rates are high.
“We have a policy position that says ‘Let us have a strong system that will not grant easy patents,'” said MacDonald Netshitenzhe, head of policy at the Department of Trade and Industry.
“Because if you grant easy patents, a weak patent, there will be people that take it a little bit forward and claim an extension on the original patent,” he told.
India had avoided patenting Novartis cancer medication imatinib, as opposed to South Africa, which granted an initial patent in 1993 that only expires this month. In addition, South Africa had granted secondary patents on imatinib to extend Novartis’ monopoly until 2022, meaning it costs $34,000 a year to treat a patient – 259 times more than the cheapest Indian generic alternative.
Its time to adapt and reform patent acts to stop evergreening of patents across the globe.
The author is a patent professional from MR Technollect, an IP Consulting firm, New Delhi.
Visit us at http://www.mrtechnollect.com for IP related query.