The Supreme Court of India has delivered a historic judgment which will provide a huge relief to thousands of cancer patients in India. Through this verdict the Court has allowed the suppliers to continue making generic copies of a cancer fighting drug Novartis Glivec. At present it costs more than Rs. one lakh per month but thanks to this judgment is will henceforth cost less than nine thousand rupees.

It is a humane and every inch judicious judgment. The Pharmacentical companies, no doubt, do a commendable job of research and development of medicines for life threatening diseases like cancer and HIV. But once they have invented the medicines and recovered the cost of research they forget their benign duties of serving the mankind and continue to indulge into inexorable exploitation by keeping the cost exorbitantly high. In this the companies, which were claiming the patent rights were not credited with any invention but they have doing certain combinations and permutations in the medicines being traded.

Studies that have been presented before the court clearly suggest that the manufacturing companies have already earned the entire cost of Research and Development within one year of its production. Glivecis is the brand name of Inatinib Novartis which had applied for a patent of a modified drug ‘beta crystalline’. The Supreme Court has given a very well- reasoned judgment that the patent for ‘beta crystalline’ could not be granted because it was not any invention but an imitation with minor changes. In fact, it has been the case of downright cheating by companies which have been charging the unreasonable prices for cancer drugs. This cruelty is condemnable. One of my friends the late Alok Tomar who died two years ago of deadly disease of cancer had written somewhere about the pathetic story of the cancer patients whose disease was aggravated and  advanced due to prohibitive cost of medicines. He had in his imitable style narrated that a great deal of racket was involved in the dealings of cancer medicines.

The judges-Aftab Alam and Ranjana K. Desai— must be complimented and applauded for this landmark judgment and hopefully, the pharmaceutical companies would understand their primary duty of relieving the pains and sufferings of the people instead of raking into the stinking profit by selling of the medicines to helpless and poor patients.


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