In 2006 Novartis had sued Indian Government for not granting patent to its anti cancer drug Imatinib selling under brand name ” Glivec“. It also challenged the constitutional validity of section 3 d of Indian Patent Act 1970 which says new forms including esters, ethers, acids or other derivatives of known substance are not patentable in India unless there is increase in efficacy. But no definition of efficacy is present.Novartis India, subsidiary of Swiss drug maker Novartis is now taking its last shot to protect its Imatinib patent as Supreme Court ruling is pending this month. This judgment is considered to be landmark judgment as section 3 d of Indian Patent Act 1970 requires clear explanation. The ruling is important for innovators at national and international level, waiting or having presence in Indian pharmaceuticals domain.
Last week company declared that that drug has got approval to operate in EU, suggesting that Glivec efficacy is not frivolous. Company is also using social media like Twitter to post regular updates on Glivec case with phrase “fact from friction.” Also this there is world wide protest against Novartis where last week protestors stormed the annual meeting of the company with “Occupy Novartis” movement.
Novartis is currently representing the interest of all big pharma companies, which feel that section 3 d is deterrent for new drug discovery in India. So currently all community is waiting for SC ruling. Fingers Crossed.