The Berne Declaration welcomes the Indian justice’s decision and demands that Novartis and Switzerland respect this decision
6 August 2007
Following the reject of its patent application for a life-saving medicine against rare forms of cancer (imatinib mesylate - Glivec®), Novartis had filed a case in May 2006 not only against the decision of the Indian patent office, but also against the section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act upon which the decision is based. This provision specifies the notion of invention for pharmaceutical products and is aiming at preventing the multiplication of insignificant or abusive patents. Its invalidation would have seriously threatened access to essential and life-saving medicines, especially against HIV/AIDS or cancer, in India and in several developing countries importing Indian generic medicines.
The Chennai High Court’s decision strengthens the already recognized legitimacy of this provision as flexibility of the WTO agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This court order benefits mainly the Indian and other developing countries’ patients.
The Berne Declaration welcomes the Chennai High Court’s decision. It demands that Novartis respects this decision by not appealing against the verdict. It also demands that Switzerland respects this decision and does not lodge a complaint with the WTO against India about section 3(d) of the Indian patent law. In October 2006, the BD had sent an open letter to Novartis, signed to date, by 78 organisations worldwide and several eminent persons, such as Ruth Dreyfuss, former president of the Swiss Confederation. She supports the courageous action of the Indian organisation, the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA), against Novartis.