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News Compulsory Licensing or Theft? The Bayer-India Controversy

  1. Jan 29, 2014 #1
    I'll preface this post by saying I have always had an interest in companies like Bayer and their R&D departments, so I found this story relevant as it touches upon R&D and patent rights. However, I know very little when it comes to legal procedures, and especially patents (intellectual property?).

    What I am able to sum up is just my understanding of what is going on currently. Bayer develops a drug that doesn't necessarily cure, but treats certain symptoms of cancer, however, because of development costs, etc..., they initially charge $69k/year for the drug.

    Certain segments of India's population afflicted with cancer cannot afford the drug for treatment. Being that $69k/year is not reasonable for India's government India offers other companies/agencies a compulsory license to Bayer's patent. This allows the allowed agency to create the drug and produce one similar to Bayer's product, but with a lower price tag than the $69k.

    Bayer doesn't like this as it undercuts their initial price tag and possibly their profit motives, so the company contests this in court, and says, "if this continues, it is tantamount to theft! (I am paraphrasing here)." To Bayer's dismay, they lose in court and are pretty angry at the decision and are now filing appeals in the Indian court to get the court to reverse the decision.

    I would like some help in understanding what is going on, specifically, the law.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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  3. Jan 29, 2014 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  4. Jan 29, 2014 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Does anyone know how this interacts with product liability? If Company A makes a drug, and it is compulsorily licensed to Company B, and it is later determined that it has a terrible side effect, is Company A still liable?
     
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