Two Drug Makers Complain India Is Thwarting Licenses for Selling Generics

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The controversy over access to medicines took a twist this week when two Indian drug makers disclosed they would no longer seek government licenses to make generic versions of two brand-name medicines. And they cited pressure from the global pharmaceutical industry on the Indian government as their reason for ending their efforts.

BDR Pharmaceuticals and Lee Pharma are not pursuing so-called compulsory licenses that would allow them to make and sell lower-cost versions of drugs made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, according to Reuters. These licenses allow generic drug makers to make low-cost versions of brand-name medicines without the consent of the brand-name company holding a patent.

Both drug makers had been appealing government rejections of license applications. Lee sought to sell a version of the Onglyza diabetes medicine made by AstraZeneca, but was rebuffed earlier this year, while BDR hoped to market a version of the Sprycel cancer medicine from Bristol-Myers Squibb, although that bid was rejected three years ago.

But “there is no point in pursuing it anymore,” Dharmesh Shah, BDR’s managing director, told the news service.

Source: STAT (link opens in a new window)

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