April 1, 2013 / 11:02 AM / 4 years ago

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

India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma attends a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim (unseen) in Islamabad on February 15, 2012.Faisal Mahmood

NEW DELHI (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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