You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Govt revokes patent on Merck & Co asthma drug

Reuters  |  Mumbai 

India has revoked a patent granted to an asthma drug made by Schering Corp, later bought by US-based Merck & Co, citing lack of invention, after Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd challenged an earlier decision.

The move is the latest in a series of patent cancellations by India, where generic medicines account for more than 90% of drug sales by value and whose huge potential to western drugmakers is undermined by intellectual property issues.

Earlier this year, India revoked Pfizer Inc's patent on cancer drug Sutent, while an Indian patents appeal board overturned Roche Holding AG's patent on hepatitis C drug Pegasys.

The aerosol suspension formulation of the asthma drug, which won an Indian patent last year, combines three molecules: mometasone furoate, formoterol and heptaflouropropane. It was not immediately clear if Merck markets this drug under a specific brand name in India.

TV Madhusudhan, India's assistant controller of patents and design, said the patent-holder did not show an "inventive step" for the drug, either on individual parameters or in its entirety.

The ruling was posted on Tuesday on the website of the Indian patents office.

A similar asthma treatment, Dulera, lost its Indian patent held by Novartis AG in 2010.

Officials at Merck could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, December 11 2012. 20:19 IST