MSF: India’s Bayer-Natco Compulsory Licence Case Set For 3 Sept.

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A hearing in a case involving a challenge by Bayer pharmaceutical company of India’s compulsory licence aimed at making a cancer drug more affordable is moved to 3 September, public health advocacy group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced today.

The case is before the Indian Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in Chennai. German company Bayer has appealed a compulsory licence granted in March 2012 to generics producer Natco.

The licence allowed Natco to produce affordable versions of the patented cancer drug sorafenib tosylate, marketed as Nexavar, dropping the price some 97 per cent from more than $5,500 to $175 per month, according to MSF. Bayer was granted a 6 per cent royalty.

The licence was seen as opening the door to future actions on other drugs priced too high for most Indian citizens. The case is separate from one involving Swiss company Novartis, which is also expected to have a hearing this week.

An Intellectual Property Watch feature story on the Bayer-Natco case is here.

MSF’s backgrounder on the compulsory licence is here.

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