Doctors WIthout Borders has released a press release that says that an HIV/AIDS drug can now be made generically. This will lower the cost of the drug allowing more people access to it, this is very important for people living in the developing world. The company that held the patent, Gilead Sciences, claimed to have invented the drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), which has been discredited based on prior art.
In India, the Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS opposed Gilead’s patent application in May 2006 on similar grounds to PUBPAT’s challenge in the US. The evidence on which the US based its decision could therefore lead to the Indian patent office rejecting the patent application. Similarly, in Brazil, a patent opposition filed by HIV/AIDS groups and a government pharmaceutical laboratory could also mean a patent might not be granted for TDF in Brazil.
If a patent is not granted in these countries, generic manufacturers could freely manufacture and export generic versions of TDF without restrictions, leading to greater competition and therefore lower prices.