Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cipla Mocks Roche’s Patent for Valganciclovir

Mumbai-generic major Cipla has yet again made a mockery of Indian patent law by launching a generic version of Roche patented anti-infection drug Valganciclovir. This is the second instance of Cipla mocking Indian patent after it deliberately launched generic copy of Roche patented anti-cancer drug Erlotinib. Though we are not sure how much impact this will make on availability of drugs to Indian patients but surely it will deteriorate India’s image in global IP scenario. What is more pathetic is India’s legal state-of-affairs which is slowly becoming hand-puppet and regularly been twisted by politicians and strong businesses for their self-business interest. Politicians often used language and regionalism for their political gain but continue to ignore national interest and security for better growth and war against terrorism. Cipla too have mastered targeting high-pricing of innovators’ for their business interests but continue to ignore building healthcare infrastructure. Even after 60 years of independence only margin section of society have access to medicines with most even struggling for food and shelter. Post 1970 Indian generic companies including Cipla made phenomenal growth (in absence of patent protection for pharmaceutical drug products) to thousand crore plus company but still Indian healthcare scenario is struggling for better infrastructure. Over the years, Cipla has proudly publicized to provide cheap AIDS medicines to African countries when back here in India their own people are dying of common disease like tuberculosis, cholera and malaria. What can be more shameful when home grown pharma companies are more concern in exporting AIDS and cancer drugs rather than reaching to rural areas of India to provide medicines for common diseases which make more horror news than AIDS?


  1. Very true. I cannot agree with you more. India's image in global IP scenario is sure to get a beating.

  2. By launching the generic, Cipla has not made mockery of the Indian Patent Law if it believes that the Valganciclovir patent is invalid under one or more sections of the Patent Act. Apart from that, it is not a non-profit organization dedicated to public benefit; it will decide its marketing strategies based on what makes business sense.

  3. Dear Varun
    we understand by launching generic version of Valganciclovir they made a "crime"(IP Crime) but you never forget no body stop him to launch it because patent is facing post grant oppsoition and Cipla has veru much right to launch the product because some organization challage the validity of patent according to Indian patent act.
    I donot know on what basis judge is going togive judgment when patent is still in the post grant oppsoiton.

  4. Jaimin,

    I completely agree with you that Cipla is not an NGO working for societal benefit but a profit making organization. That is what I am trying to convey that Cipla is doing all such activities for making business profit not public service which they usually advertise. And secondly, in law there is no place for assumption or presumption. If Cipla believes that patent for Valganciclovir is invalid then get it invalidate but launching generic copy abruptly that also when no post-grant hearing for Valganciclovir has taken place only reflects that they do not respect patent.

    What works for Cipla in this case is that they know how Indian Judiciary works and importantly how much ease Judges are to handle complex patent validity?

  5. Varun,

    I agree. Cipla's initial victory has emboldened it to adopt a similar strategy again in the case of Valcyte. Please read the post on the link below and comment.

    Thanks ....