IPR makes new TB drugs inaccessible to patients

4 months ago 56
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Even as the Indian government lobbies for waiver of patents on Covid treatment-related technologies at the

World Trade Organisation

, it is yet to move on

TB patients

’ appeal for a

compulsory licence

on two new TB

drugs

,

Bedaquiline

and Delamanid, required for the treatment of drug-resistant TB.
On the eve of World TB Day on March 24, activists fighting for expanded access to these drugs pointed out that less than a third of patients who need these drugs have received them.
A public interest petition had been filed in the Bombay HC by TB survivor Meera Yadav and public health activist and survivor Brinelle D’Souza seeking direction to the government to issue a compulsory licence to override the patent on the drugs held by

Janssen Pharmaceuticals

, USA and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Japan.
The petitioners said the government was relying on donations of these drugs by the two companies which were a minuscule quantity compared to what was required. “it has not been able to procure the drugs as tenders have failed and they are being sold at high prices by Janssen and Otsuka”.

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