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Indian Health Activists Take Legal Action To Stop Patenting Of Gilead Hepatitis C Drug

“Indian health activists are seeking to prevent Gilead from patenting its new treatment for Hepatitis C in the country in a fresh battle over affordable access to medicine,” the Financial Times reports. “The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge in India said it had filed a ‘pre-grant’ application in Calcutta to block” Gilead’s patent application, a legal action that “follows previous spats in India over intellectual property on medicines including those for HIV and cancer [and] could open the way for local generic drug manufacturers to sell low-cost versions of the product domestically and export it to other low-income countries without strong patent protection laws,” the newspaper writes. “The legal action could stall for several years the granting of patents in India, which one generic drug manufacturer said could permit the production of low-cost equivalents over several years,” the Financial Times notes (Jack, 11/24).