Colombia v Novartis: Do Big Prices Mean More Compulsory Licensing?
After making noise about issuing a compulsory license, Colombia is now moving to force Novartis AG to lower its price for Glivec. The news could signal that pharmaceutical companies with high-priced medicines will face increasing threats to their intellectual property if they continue to charge big prices that middle- income countries cannot afford.
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Civil society groups are calling for Colombian authorities to repeal a controversial decree that they say will make compulsory licensing harder and which would prevent declarations of public interest from being used to lower drug prices.
Novartis is taking Colombian authorities to court over moves to cut the price of its anticancer Glivec (imatinib) and warns that the intellectual property rights of other products are under threat. Companies selling hepatitis C drugs should pay attention as their products could be next to face similar measures.
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