India Patent Battle

It's a landmark ruling in the world of global medicine that could have far-reaching implications.  A Swiss drug manufacturer has lost a battle in India to patent an updated version of its cancer medication.

FOX News Radio's Emily Wither reports:

The ruling is a serious blow to Western pharmaceutical firms.

(Court Spokeswoman) "The Supreme Court judgment today, Novartis case, is that Novartis's appeal has been dismissed."

The Swiss drugs firm Novartis was denied a patent of its cancer drugs because Indian authorities said the new version is only slightly different to the old.  The decision means drug makers can continue selling copies at a lower price.

Many aid organizations welcome the ruling, as it means poor patients can continue to access cheap versions of life-saving medicines.  The company, however, say it will discourage medical progress in the country.

Emily Wither, FOX News Radio.