Applaud Indian Government for Rejecting Expensive Drug to Keep Healthcare Affordable

india healthcare

Target: Honorable Altamas Kabir, Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of India

Goal: Thank the Supreme Court of India for rejecting an expensive cancer drug in efforts to keep healthcare costs affordable.

The Supreme Court of India denied the drug company Novartis the opportunity to patent a new cancer drug. The new medication, Glivec, is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and other cancers, and costs about $2,600 per month. The generic equivalent of Glivec costs just $175 per month. The decision to reject Glivec means that generic drug-makers can continue to sell the more affordable drug in India’s fast-growing pharmaceutical markets. Applaud the Supreme Court of India for maintaining affordable healthcare costs.

Chief Justice Altamas Kabir denied Novartis’ new drug on the grounds that the updated version was only slightly different from the previous generic version. This decision comes as a relief to healthcare campaigners in India who claim that the healthcare system cannot cope with the existing demands on it. By rejecting Glivec, the government is allowing generic drug-makers to continue supplying cheap, yet equally effective, medication to poor people in the country. The ruling is also an attempt to curb the abusive practice of seeking many patents for one drug, which consequently increases medication costs over minor changes.

Out of the 1.2 billion people living in India, approximately 835 million people earn less than 250 rupees, or $4.50, per day. The people in this income bracket are not receiving adequate health care due to the expense of doctor visits and medications. The Supreme Court of India is taking a giant step toward providing affordable health care for all Indian citizens by rejecting the more expensive drug. The landmark ruling will set a precedent to ensure that poor patients around the world will get continued access to cheap versions of life-saving medicines. Sign the petition below to thank Honorable Altamas Kabir for his efforts to provide an affordable healthcare system.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Honorable Kabir,

I would like to commend you on your recent Supreme Court decision regarding the cancer drug Glivec. The drug-maker Novartis appealed to patent Glivec, despite the fact that an existing generic version of the medication already exists. The generic equivalent of Glivec costs just $175 per month, whereas Glivec costs $2,600 per month. Your rejection of Glivec is highly praised by healthcare and human rights campaigners worldwide, as this means that the more affordable drug will stay in India’s pharmaceutical markets.

There are 1.2 billion people living in India, but approximately 835 million people earn less than 250 rupees, or $4.50 per day. These people cannot afford inflated health care costs and expensive medications. By rejecting Glivec, you are allowing generic drug-makers to continue supplying cheap, yet equally effective, medication to poor people in the country. You are also helping to curb the abusive practice of seeking many patents for one drug. Thank you for setting a precedent to ensure that poor patients around the world will get continued access to affordable life-saving medicines.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: CDC via Wikimedia Commons

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