HINDUSTAN TIMES, ECONOMIC TIMES (India) NEW YORK TIMES (USA)

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NEW DELHI — In a landmark decision on Monday, India’s Supreme Court rejected a application by pharmaceutical giant Novartis for a major cancer drug patent, a ruling that could clear the way for cheaper generic versions of medicines to continue to be distributed around the world, the Hindustan Times reported.

After a seven-year legal battle, Indian drug makers can now proceed with continued production of generic knock-offs of the anti-leukemia drug Gleevec — also spelled Glivec in Europe, the New York Times reported. Gleevec can cost up $70,000 per year, while Indian generic versions cost about $2,500.

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Photo: Esme Vos

The battle has pitted a capitalist imperative to profit from innovation against a basic right to lifesaving medication at affordable prices.

YK Hamied, chairman of Cipla, one of the Indian generic drug makers told the Economic Times that the case was "nothing personal" against the Swiss-based Novartis. "I only hope that this type of verdict will help the country get cancer drugs at affordable prices and it is actually a victory for patients and for access to medicines at affordable prices."

The reverberations of the ruling could extend well beyond Indian leukemia patients, helping India continue as the world’s most important provider of cheap medicines, which is critical in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases, the Times reports.

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Coronavirus

Texas In Germany? Saxony Mixes Anti-Vaxxers And Far-Right Politics

When it comes to vaccination rates, there are striking parallels between Germany and the United States. The states with the most opposition to vaccines differ politically from those with the highest vaccination rates. Now the consequences for booster shots are starting to become visible, especially in the United States.

A protest in Saxony last year against COVID-19 restrictions

Zentralbild/dpa via ZUMA
Daniel Friedrich Sturm

-Analysis-

WASHINGTON — Ok, so Saxony was singled out last week in a New York Times article as an example of the disastrous vaccination situation in parts of Europe. The article talks about the link between anti-vaxxers and the political success of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the eastern German state.

In a sense, Saxony is Germany's Texas. For instance, 59% of U.S. citizens are fully vaccinated, but in strictly Republican Texas, where Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the 2020 election, this figure stands at 54%.

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