Good news from India this week, they've rejected a bogus attempt to patent a critical HIV drug. The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), an NGO focused on increasing access to affordable medicines by making sure the patent system works correctly, reports that India denied an application by Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) for a patent on the very important anti-HIV-1 protease inhibitor combination of lopinavir and ritonavir.
As a result, the lopinavir/ritonavir combination, considered to be the front line of defense for HIV positive patients who have failed to stay healthy with the first round of medicines available today, can be made and distributed to HIV patients worldwide. Drug manufacturers in India, the world's leading supplier of affordable medicines, can now supply this drug to patients across the globe who are desperately waiting for treatment. The impact of the case is tremendous and I-MAK is to be applauded for their efforts.