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Today health advocates were shocked by the direct and appalling statements attributed to Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers. Published in Businessweek on January 21, 2014 and written by Bloomberg reporter Ketaki Gokhale, a news story about disputes over drug patents ended with an account of the India compulsory license on the cancer drug Nexavar, and practically exploded. Dekker is quoted as saying Bayer did not intend the cancer drug to be sold to cancer patients in India, adding “We developed it for western patients who can afford it.” From the Bloomberg/Businessweek story:
Bayer Chief Executive Officer Marijn Dekkers called the compulsory license “essentially theft.”
“We did not develop this medicine for Indians,” Dekkers said Dec. 3. “We developed it for western patients who can afford it.”
Pharmaceutical companies from Merck & Co. (MRK:US) to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY:US) face fresh threats to protecting their patents in India as a government-appointed panel prepares to evaluate more drugs for local makers to copy.