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    Inside Story - Protecting patents and patients?

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    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

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    Swiss drug maker Novartis has lost a battle in India's highest court to patent an updated version of its cancer drug Gilvec. The Supreme Court has dismissed the application, saying the new version was only slightly different from the old one. The landmark ruling sets a precedent covering patents on all existing drugs in India. Updating medicines to gain new patents is known as 'evergreening.' Novartis has declared the modification took years of research and makes the drug more effective, and the company has succesfully patented the new version in nearly 40 other countries.