India patent office approves Gilead's hepatitis C drug paten
India has reversed course and granted approval to Gilead Sciences Inc's patent for its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, marking a setback for patient groups who said the move could stop affordable copies of the drug. The drug, which has a list price of $1,000 a pill in the United States, was rejected for a patent by the Indian patent authority in January 2015 on the basis it represented only minor changes to a previous formulation, and the company already had licensing deals with manufacturers in India. After an appeal by Gilead, the Indian Patent Office of New Delhi on Monday approved its application for the drug saying it found its compounds to be "novel" and "inventive." Gilead, in a statement, welcomed the move, but said it will have no impact on availability of the compound, which is already licensed to 11 generic manufacturers in India for distribution in 101 developing countries.
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