You might have heard about the exciting news this week, that the Indian Supreme Court rejected Novartis’ appeal for a new patent on an existing cancer drug. This is a huge success, so we thought we’d celebrate on a Friday afternoon and say thank you for your continued efforts and campaigning! Yeah!

Picture Credit: MSF Access Campaign

It was way back in 2006 when Novartis first challenged India’s patent laws which help make access to generic and consequently affordable medicines possible.  India’s patent laws are strong and prevent Big Pharma companies like Novartis from renewing patents, even though they have only very slightly changed the form of the drug (an act known as ever-greening).

In this case Novartis sought a patent for an old cancer drug, Gilvec, reapplying with a new ‘salt from’ formulation.  And when this wasn’t possible, due to India’s strict patent laws, Novartis appealed to the Indian Supreme Court to try to fundamentally weaken them.  However on Monday it was announced that Novartis lost their case and with the help of campaigners all over the world (including Student Stop Aiders) detrimental laws affecting access to affordable treatment were prevented.

Remember all the amazing, effective actions we’ve done, just in the last year or so…?

Like last February when student campaigners lined up against a research facility for the pharmaceutical company Novartis, with faces painted a deadly white, dropping to the ground in a powerful stunt to represent the fatal consequences throughout Africa and Asia if Novartis were to win their case. And when we went to the Swiss Embassy for a solidarity action for Activists in France – Or most recently, last autumn, where Cluedo characters decended early in the morning on Novartis HQ, in a ‘who dunnit?’ spectacular. Here’s the video as a reminder! 🙂

We can now celebrate this victory in the fight against Big Pharma putting profits before peoples lives. We’d like to thank all members of Student Stop AIDS Campaign for your continued dedication to ensure everyone can access the lifesaving medicines they need.