China Changes Patent Law in Fight for Cheaper Drugs
China has overhauled parts of its intellectual property laws to allow its drug makers to make cheap copies of medicines still under patent protection in an initiative likely to unnerve foreign pharmaceutical companies. The Chinese move, outlined in documents posted on its patent law office website, comes within months of a similar move by India to effectively end the monopoly on an expensive cancer drug made by Bayer AG by issuing its first so-called "compulsory license." The action by China will ring alarm bells in Big Pharma, since the country is a vital growth market at a time when sales in Western countries are flagging.
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