Novartis :: HIV/AIDS advocates protest Novartis’ case challenge India Patent Law

Some HIV/AIDS advocacy groups are calling on pharmaceutical company Novartis to drop its legal challenge to the Indian government’s patent laws, saying that if the company wins the case it could restrict access to antiretroviral drugs for millions of people worldwide.

Novartis is challenging a section of India’s Patents Act that aims to restrict certain kinds of patents. Novartis brought a civil lawsuit against the Indian government after the country in January 2006 rejected the company’s attempt to patent a new version of its leukemia drug Gleevec on the basis that the drug is a new formulation of an existing drug.