International health advocates are criticizing Bayer after the German pharmaceutical giant announced it may contest a decision that could make life-saving medication available to cancer patients in the developing world.
In a landmark case, the Indian Patent Office issued a compulsory license in India to a generic drug manufacturer, effectively ending Bayer’s monopoly on a drug used to treat kidney and liver cancer.
According to international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, competition from the generic version will bring the price of the drug sorafenib tosylate in India down from the equivalent of over 5,500 U.S. dollars per month to close to $175 per month, a reduction of nearly 97 per cent.
A recent article in the Times of India puts the per capita income in that country at the equivalent of $1,064.
“This decision serves as a warning,” said Michelle Childs, director of policy/advocacy at the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign. “When drug companies are price gouging and limiting availability, there is a consequence: the Patent Office can and will end monopoly powers to ensure access to important medicines.”
Bayer has also faced recent accusations of harming consumers in the United States.
In more than 10,000 lawsuits, plaintiffs claim Bayer failed to adequately warn them that its birth control pills bring an increased risk of potentially fatal blood clots, strokes and pulmonary embolisms. Of concern are birth control pills containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone, including Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz and Ocella.
The most common serious injuries from these drugs are blood clots, pulmonary embolisms, strokes, or gallbladder removals. If you believe you have suffered an injury from taking Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz or Ocella, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.
See the Doctors Without Borders report here: