23 April, 2013

Oh my God, the story continues in India…….

Sexual assault and protest and then the discussion in Parliament. Strict rules are again formed but the act of sexual violence continues.

and this time a 5 year old girl, a four year old girl and a nine year old girl is raped. two are battling for life. and the nine year old's throat was slit after raping her, to kill her and to avoid her identifying the rapists. and in all these cases the neighbours were the culprits.

Official show that a woman is raped every 20 minutes in India. However, many incidents of sexual crimes go unreported. India's conviction rate for rapes and other crimes against women is among the lowest in the world.

I am also for the strict rules and I don’t object any death penalty for the culprits. But I am sure also that penalizing alone doesn’t save women from these lustful men.

The European Union, United Nations chief Ban ki Moon and the Amnesty International are all very vocal against the death penalty in India. I would say that it is time for them to shift the focus from trying to abolish the death penalty to press the Indian government to implement the measures for the emancipation of women in India, and to educate everyone properly about sex and humanity.

Once when Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons are burned alive by radical Hindus while sleeping in their car in Eastern India, the Australian government responded very effectively and the Indian government had to yield to their pressure.

What happened when a Swiss woman was raped by seven men in India and her boyfriend beaten up? Swiss government issued a warning to the other tourists and then thanked the Indian government for bringing those culprits in front of justice. It is all after in 2008 a Swiss woman working in the Swiss embassy was raped in the parking slot.

It is time for the whole world to react and respond with stringent measures and save the woman in India. it is not the terrorism, it is not the economic depression, it is not Pakistan, it is not poverty that is the greatest evil and enemy of India. it is the Indian cultural taboo which permits no one to express their love and care to others in front of another third person but to do anything and everything in the dark.

I just remember what John Lennon said. “We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.”

What is the future of the world when more than one sixth of the world population is in India and when they behave so? Among the more than a billion people there 65% are below the age of 35 and India is the land from where the most migrate for valid reasons. If India behaves so with the women it is not a domestic problem alone but an international problem. I don’t like this sort of culture being transmitted outside India. So time for the international community to react.

03 April, 2013

Novartis and the verdict

The major discussion in all the international news channels these two days was the legal battle Novartis led for the patent right for their cancer medicine Glevic  in India. It lost the legal battle which began in the year 2006. But who won the case?

As propagated in the media, the chief beneficiaries of Monday's Supreme Court ruling will be India's Cipla Ltd and Natco Pharma Ltd, which already sell generic Glivec in India at around one-tenth of the price of the branded drug. It is a victory to all the Generic produces as India is the factory of the generic medicine producing 20% of the world’s generic medicine.

The patent rights and the rules in India is different from other countries as the Novartis found it easy to get the patent rights in 40 other countries including US, Russia and China.  Novartis’s patent application was rejected in part because of Section 3(d) of India’s patents act. It is as follows.

Section 3(d) is one of those provisions. It explicitly requires that patents should only be granted on medicines that are truly new and innovative. For new forms and new uses of existing medicines, Section 3(d) requires patent applicants to prove significantly improved efficacy before a patent can be granted. 

Novartis was arguing that a new "beta crystalline" form of Glivec is more effective and hence qualifies as a new invention, and hence should get patent protection. India has refused protection for Glivec on the grounds that it is not a new medicine, but an amended version of a known compound. The Supreme Court, in a 112-page analysis of all the claims and counter- arguments disagreed. It said that the beta crystalline form was nothing new. It has always existed in the original amorphous form.

Whatever it is, the basis on which the verdict is issued is to be considered. For the other developed countries the intellectual property and its rights and the research costs are important but for India, a land which houses millions of poor people, a judgment based on the consideration for the poor and needy was important and it was what mattered.

India has an estimated 3 lakh CML (chronic myeloid leukemia) patients, with 20,000 added every year. Glivec is sold by Novartis for about Rs 1.2 lakh per month. Indian manufacturers sell the same drug at a monthly cost of Rs 8,000. Moreover Novartis has reported a net profit of $9.6 billion in 2012 on sales of $57 billion Glivec sold. In a land where 40% of the population earn less than 1.25$ a day, this judgment is justifiable. This judgment gave a huge sigh of relief from thousands of patients in India and in dozens of developing countries as the fear of an almost 15-fold escalation of drug costs receded.

It was a decision or a justice done for the poor. In a land where a rough 20,000 new patients of leukemia spring up, this decision is justifiable. An objective justice is not suitable here. May be Jesus’s way of knowing the victim and the subjective understanding of the accused before judging them is an example.

I understand this situation better since I know a family which lost their father due to leukemia only after selling their whole property and house to treat him. The whole life’s saving of the family was spend on him but could not save him at the end. As a person who saw the tears in the eyes of their family in losing him and later the wet eyes not having enough to live on still, I welcome the decision of the supreme court with both the hands open and appreciate the concern of the judges for the poor.