When the government of India revoked U.S. drug maker Pfizer Inc.’s local patent for its cancer drug Sutent last week, it marked yet another loss for Big Pharma in an escalating patent war between multinational pharmaceutical companies and the governments of developing nations. The decision by the country’s patent authority—the Patent Controller of India—to reverse a 2007 decision granting patent protection on the drug, which is used to treat kidney cancer, comes on the heels of other rulings in which some of the world’s largest drug makers have seen their patents on expensive (and potentially lucrative) cancer medicines threatened. For example:
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