India hails "historic" Supreme Court drug patent ruling against Novartis

NEW DELHI, April 1 Mon Apr 1, 2013 6:57am EDT

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NEW DELHI, April 1 (Reuters) - The Indian government hailed as "historic" a Supreme Court ruling on Monday against a plea by Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG to protect the patent on its drug Glivec.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said the ruling -- seen as a victory by health rights campaigners -- reaffirmed provisions in Indian law that mandate the need for substantial innovation before new patents are issued on medicines. (Reporting By Matthias Williams; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel, editing by Ross Colvin)

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