A petition was today filed in the Delhi High Court challenging the patent granted to US pharmaceutical company Pfizer for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) used to protect infants, young children and adults from pneumoniae bacteria. The plea came up for a brief hearing before Justice Vibhu Bakhru and a notice was issued on the petition. The court listed the matter for November 21 seeking response of the Centre, the Controller General of Patents, Assistant Controller of Patents and the US firm. The petition by a representative of Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders - a Paris-based international humanitarian-aid organization - sought setting aside of an August 11 order of the Assistant Controller of Patents and Designs granting patent for the vaccine. The association, represented by senior advocate Anand Grover, said the decision was without application of mind, improper, illegal and contrary to the principles of law. The plea, filed through advocate Rajeshwari, said as pneumonia is the leading cause of childhood death, the vaccine is important for children in general and there is a need for this vaccine to be available at an affordable price.
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