German pharmaceutical giant Bayer has for several years retained exclusive intellectual property rights to a revolutionary cancer drug that could also hold the key to progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS. But according to Reuters, the Indian Patent Office "effectively ended Bayer's monopoly" by issuing a compulsory patent license that would allow a local company to produce a less expensive, generic equivalent.
It is only the second time that India's IP authority has issued such a mandate, according to the news source. The office is staking its claim on the grounds that Thailand made a similar move in Thailand in 2006 that ended in licensing deals for HIV/AIDS and heart disease treatments.
"This case might become a trend-setter, wherein generic players can make copies of patented products," market analyst Siddhant Khandekar told reporters. "While global giants might not like this, generic companies will benefit along with the common people."
According to the New York Times, the patent licensing deal will see the local Indian manufacturer, Natco Pharma, pay Bayer a 6 percent royalty on all net sales and must sell the drug for a fee that is approximately 3 percent of what Bayer traditionally charges in Indian markets.