In a landmark judgement, the Delhi high court has dismissed an appeal by AstraZeneca in restraining the generic version of an anti-diabetes drug Dapagliflozin. In recent times, the pharmaceutical giant has sued a host of Indian companies for infringement of patents covering the drug.
The high court’s judgement has paved the way for more affordable versions of the anti-diabetes drug Dapagliflozin, manufactured by Indian companies.
On July 20, the division bench of the Delhi high court passed a judgement saying, “It found no reason to interfere with earlier orders from last year on two patents”.
In November last year, the high court had dismissed AstraZeneca’s application seeking a restraining order against the marketing of the anti-diabetes drug by generic companies like Intas, Alkem, Zydus, Eris LifeSciences, USV, Torrent, MSN, Micro labs and Ajanta.
AstraZeneca currently holds two patents for Dapagliflozin in India. The first one (IN 147) expired in october last year and the second (IN 625) will expire in May 2023. Legal experts who spoke with the Times of India said that the second patent (IN 625) did not have any inventive merit over what was already existing in the first patent (IN 147).
The bench said in the order accessed by the Times of India that they were unable to find any difference between (IN 147) and (IN 625). Also adding that one invention can have only one patent.
Representing the generic companies side, S Majumdar said to the Times of India that it was a landmark decision in patent law recognising the need to avoid double patenting. He also added that this would have a direct impact on diabetic patients as the expiry of the first patent of Dapagliflozin would allow various generic companies to manufacture the drug and sell them at competitive prices.
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