Thursday, September 27, 2012

Double Edged Sword

Citing the high cost of the kidney- and liver-cancer medicine, India's patent authority in March forced Bayer to grant a compulsory license on the Nexavar to Natco Pharma so that a cheaper copy of the potentially lifesaving drug will be accessible to local patients.
Germany-based Bayer in May appealed against the grant of the compulsory license. It had also sought a stay on the sales of generic Nexavar by the Indian company until the appellate body decided on its petition.
I'll break that down for you.  Bayer spent billions upon billions on research and development  to create a drug to address kidney and liver cancer.  India thinks it costs too much, so a local company produces a cheaper generic version of the drug.

India's patent court then decided to require Bayer to provide a license to the knock-off pharmacutical company in India.  So, in short, Bayer will never recover the costs to create this drug. 

Now...before you call me a cold-blooded capitalist placing cold hard cash over the sanctity of life, allow me to ask you one question:

Will Bayer be more or less likely to innovatively create similar drugs in the future?

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