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Delhi NGO opposes patent for Roche's HIV drug
 
 
  28 Jun, 2008, 0000 hrs IST, ET Bureau
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com
 
NEW DELHI: HIV patient group-Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+)-has filed a post-grant opposition against Swiss major Roche's patent for its HIV drug Valganciclovir at the Chennai Patent office.
 
The Chennai patent office granted the patent to Roche last year without hearing the arguments of the two NGOs which had filed pre-grant opposition against the drug, a DNP+ release said.
 
The NGO has opposed the patent on the grounds that Valganciclovir is a known compound, and at most, a 'new form' of an already known substance with no improvement in efficacy. DNP+ has also alleged that many patents granted by the Chennai patent office were rejected in the US, which is considered to be far more liberal than Indian patent laws.
 
Valganciclovir is used to treat cytomegalovirus, a virus that causes irreversible blindness and also attacks other parts of the human body, such as the gastro-intestinal system and brain, causing death.
 
According to the release, Roche which also holds the patent for the drug in other countries charges as much as $10,000 for a four-month supply of oral Valganciclovir. In India, the price for a full course of treatment is over Rs 2,70,000.
 
As a patent holder, Roche will have the exclusive marketing right for the drug for 20 years. Patient groups say that such a high cost of the drug is preventing lakhs of HIV patients from getting treatment or substituting it with painful intravenous or injections drugs. India has around 2.5 million HIV patients.
 
"Thousands of people are unnecessarily losing their vision and their livelihoods simply because the treatment is too expensive," said DNP+ president Loon Gangte.
 

Cipla, AIDS groups oppose Roche`s AIDS drug patent in India
 
http://www.topnews.in
June 28th, 2008
 
Pharmaceutical firms such as Cipla, Matrix and AIDS patient group- Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), have filed post-grant opposition against Swiss multinational Roche's patent for its HIV drug valganciclovir at the Chennai Patent office., a drug used during organ transplantation and by HIV/ AIDS patients.
 
According to a release, the Chennai patent office granted the patent to Roche last year without hearing the arguments of the two NGOs which had filed pre-grant opposition against the drug, a DNP+.
 
The NGO opposed the patent on the grounds that Valganciclovir is a 'new form' of an already known substance with no improvement in efficacy. DNP+ also alleged that many patents granted by the Chennai patent office were rejected in the US. According to the release, Roche holds the patent for the drug in other countries and charges $10,000 for a four-month supply of oral Valganciclovir. In India, the price for a full course of treatment is over Rs 2,70,000. The high cost of the drug prevents lakhs of HIV patients from getting treatment while substituting it with intravenous injections.
 
DNP+ president, Loon Gangte said that the treatment being expensive, many people are losing their livelihoods as well as their vision.
 
 
 
 
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