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Pictures | Sun Apr 1, 2012 | 5:19am EDT

Insight: Chasing cheaper cancer drugs

A girl suffering from cancer rests inside the children's ward at the Cancer Centre Welfare Home and Research Institute in Kolkata March 16, 2012. India, a country with a long history of making cheap off-patent drugs and a sometimes brittle relationship with Western drugmakers, has finally lost patience. New Delhi shocked the global drugs industry in March by effectively ending Bayer's monopoly on kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar and issuing its first-ever compulsory licence, allowing local generic firm Natco Pharma to produce and sell the drug cheaply in India. In a move to head off the same threat to its patented drugs, Roche, the world's biggest maker of cancer medicines, plans to offer significantly cheaper locally branded versions of two other cancer treatments, Herceptin and MabThera, under an alliance with Emcure Pharmaceuticals. Picture taken March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

A girl suffering from cancer rests inside the children's ward at the Cancer Centre Welfare Home and Research Institute in Kolkata March 16, 2012. India, a country with a long history of making cheap off-patent drugs and a sometimes brittle...more

A girl suffering from cancer rests inside the children's ward at the Cancer Centre Welfare Home and Research Institute in Kolkata March 16, 2012. India, a country with a long history of making cheap off-patent drugs and a sometimes brittle relationship with Western drugmakers, has finally lost patience. New Delhi shocked the global drugs industry in March by effectively ending Bayer's monopoly on kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar and issuing its first-ever compulsory licence, allowing local generic firm Natco Pharma to produce and sell the drug cheaply in India. In a move to head off the same threat to its patented drugs, Roche, the world's biggest maker of cancer medicines, plans to offer significantly cheaper locally branded versions of two other cancer treatments, Herceptin and MabThera, under an alliance with Emcure Pharmaceuticals. Picture taken March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files
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A woman with cancer sits on a pavement outside the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai March 15, 2012. India, a country with a long history of making cheap off-patent drugs and a sometimes brittle relationship with Western drugmakers, has finally lost patience. New Delhi shocked the global drugs industry in March by effectively ending Bayer's monopoly on kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar and issuing its first-ever compulsory licence, allowing local generic firm Natco Pharma to produce and sell the drug cheaply in India.In a move to head off the same threat to its patented drugs, Roche, the world's biggest maker of cancer medicines, plans to offer significantly cheaper locally branded versions of two other cancer treatments, Herceptin and MabThera, under an alliance with Emcure Pharmaceuticals. Picture taken March 15, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

A woman with cancer sits on a pavement outside the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai March 15, 2012. India, a country with a long history of making cheap off-patent drugs and a sometimes brittle relationship with Western drugmakers, has finally lost...more

A woman with cancer sits on a pavement outside the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai March 15, 2012. India, a country with a long history of making cheap off-patent drugs and a sometimes brittle relationship with Western drugmakers, has finally lost patience. New Delhi shocked the global drugs industry in March by effectively ending Bayer's monopoly on kidney and liver cancer drug Nexavar and issuing its first-ever compulsory licence, allowing local generic firm Natco Pharma to produce and sell the drug cheaply in India.In a move to head off the same threat to its patented drugs, Roche, the world's biggest maker of cancer medicines, plans to offer significantly cheaper locally branded versions of two other cancer treatments, Herceptin and MabThera, under an alliance with Emcure Pharmaceuticals. Picture taken March 15, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files
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