Strengthening Glivec Patent in Thailand: Novartis learning from its mistakes?

In a new twist to the Glivec Patent episode, Thailand has refused to override the Glivec Patent after Swiss giant Novartis has agreed to supply free dosages of the drug through its Glivec International Patient Assistance Programme (GIPAP). Sufficient to cover at least 900 ailing patients- this move by Novartis has saved them the litigation they are entangled in currently in India.

While there is no denying that this will help several cancer patients without sufficient funds to avail the drug, the Thai Government has probably failed to look at the bigger picture.

Ailing patients suffer everyday- all because they are do not have access to basic drugs to combat fatal diseases. Perhaps, even if drawn out- the application for compulsory licenses by Indian Pharma Companies is a step in right direction in the long run.

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