India has reportedly again denied Pfizer a patent of rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib
Pfizer has reportedly sought a patent right over rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib, which has been again denied by India to a multinational drugmaker. However, Pfizer is reported to be reviewing a further action, a Mumbai-based company spokesman said in an emailed statement, as confirmed by Reuters. India’s patent office had rejected Pfizer’s application to patent tofacitinib in 2011, but was ordered to reconsider the decision by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, after Pfizer appealed.
Drug patents have become a thorny issue for global drugmakers seeking to expand in India’s fast-growing healthcare market, with India’s stand clearly being its commitment and objective to make medicines affordable for all.
Companies including Pfizer, Bayer and Roche have in recent years struggled to retain exclusivity on drugs in India, and have blamed patent laws they say are designed to favor the local industry.
Pfizer sought a patent that covers an important chemical formulation of the active compound in the medicine, but the Indian Patent Office said the company would have to establish that the compound for which it is seeking a patent is therapeutically more effective than the active compound.
“The invention disclosed and claimed in the instant application … is not considered as an invention under the provisions of the Act,” Bharat N S, an assistant controller at the patent office, wrote in an order dated Sept. 3.