In the absence of patents, multiple generic producers produce medicines, further driving the price down.
Competition among different producers is the tried and tested way to bring prices down.
In addition, the 2006 report of the WHO’s Commission on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Public Health also found that there was no evidence that the implementation of WTO rules on patents in developing countries significantly boosts R&D in pharmaceuticals for diseases affecting developing countries.
Q: Shouldn't drug companies be rewarded with patent protection for the financial investment they make when developing drugs in the first place?
By producing cheaper generic versions of medicines that were patented in other countries, India became a key source of affordable medicines, such as antiretroviral medicines to treat HIV and AIDS.
Eighty percent of the medicines MSF uses to treat 170,000 people living with HIV in its projects today are sourced from Indian generic drug companies.
Novartis applied for a patent so that it could sell Gleevec at higher prices in India.Second, it causes high drug prices that people can't afford.But where the patent system becomes particularly problematic is when it is abused, and companies seek patents for something that isn't actually new, but is a minor modification to an existing medicine. The scientist behind the discovery of imatinib (the drug that is at the centre of Novartis' lawsuit), Brian Druker, had this to say about Novartis: "pharmaceutical companies that have invested in the development of medicines should achieve a return on their investments.TAKE ACTION: As the Indian Supreme Court readies to hear the Novartis case, MSF tells Novartis to STOP its attack on India, the pharmacy of the developing world.
Join MSF & tell Novartis patients matter more than profits A: Medicines produced by generic companies in India are among the cheapest in the world.
Competition among generic manufacturers is what helped bring the cost of HIV and AIDS treatment down from over US,000 per patient per year in 2000 to 0 today.