This case series looks at the actions taken by NGOs, local campaigners and the Indian government, against Roche over its patent for a breast cancer drug “Trastuzumab”, otherwise known as “Herceptin”, Herceptin was an expensive but highly effective treatment for some types of breast cancer and campaigners were vocal in arguing that in emerging markets, such as India, it was beyond the means of the majority of the population. Case B covers the period and actions from January 2013 to mid-2014. Sensing that it would not receive a renewal of its patent protection from the Indian government, in August 2013, Roche decided not to pursue its patent in India. The government fast-tracked local companies to produce biosimilars. In January 2014, the local biosimilar was launched onto the marketplace but it was only 25% less expensive than Herceptin. In an unusual twist, a month later, the Delhi High Court granted Roche an injunction against the generic manufacturers comparing their products to Herceptin in marketing campaigns.
This case series looks to understand how NGOs and local campaigners can affect a company’s ability to market its products or operate in emerging markets.
Roche, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals
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