The CEO of pharmaceutical giant Bayer has sparked fury after announcing one of the firm's drugs was for 'western patients who can afford it'.
He described India's patent laws as 'essentially theft'
Marijn Dekkers made the inflammatory comments after the Indian company Natco Pharma Ltd. were granted a government license to produce a copy of Bayer’s cancer drug Nexavar which they will sell for 97 per cent less than the original product.
Under Indian law the government grants compulsory licenses to domestic firms to produce copies of drugs if the original isn’t available locally at a reasonable price, regardless of whether they are under patent.
Mr Deekers, who has previously described India's patent laws as 'essentially theft', said: 'We did not develop this medicine for Indians. We developed it for western patients who can afford it.'
Currently a kidney cancer patient would pay $96,000 (£58,000) for a year's course of the Bayer-made drug. However the cost of the Natco version would be around $2,800 (£1,700).
One million new cancer cases in India every year!
Pharmaceutical companies are singularly focused on profit and so aggressively push for patents and high drug prices.
Drug companies claim to care about global health needs, but their track record says otherwise.
Medicine should be given to the patients who are in need at reasonable rates. If all these medicines should only reach the rich people, then the diseased poor are doomed to die?
Is this fair?
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