India rejects cancer-drug patent | Bangkok Post: news

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India rejects cancer-drug patent

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NEW DELHI - India's Supreme Court rejected Monday a patent bid by Swiss drug giant Novartis in a landmark ruling activists say will allow continued supply of cheap generic drugs and save lives in poorer nations. 

Indian protesters lift a balloon shaped like a pill during a demonstration against the Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis, in Mumbai on December 21, 2012. India's Supreme Court has rejected a patent bid by Swiss drug giant Novartis in a landmark ruling that activists say will protect cheap generic drugs and save lives in developing nations.

Novartis fought a seven-year legal battle to gain patent protection for an updated version of its blockbuster leukaemia drug Glivec, arguing the compound was a significant improvement because it is more easily absorbed by the body.

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