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Friday, October 14, 2005

Tamiflu Update 

Today's Chron has an article about how a Pharma company in India is going to manufacture Tamiflu (well to be precise, the chemical compound that Roche like to call Tamiflu).

Patents are strange thing. You have to describe the thing you are patenting sufficiently well that a person skilled in the appropriate arts can replicate your invention. Respect for law and a desire to avoid costly lawsuits are all that keep companies from making competing identical versions of everything that gets patented.

So yesterday Roche said that there was no way they would license people to make Tamiflu even with royalities for Roche built into the deal. Today we find that a company in India, a country which is not renowned for its respect for patents from other countries, is going to throw caution to the winds and start making Tamiflu, with no royalties for Roche. Oops.

And this isn't some fly-by-night meth lab in Madras. These guys make anti-retrovirals that are used all over the world. And they manufacture precursors for First World pharma companies. If they say they can make Tamiflu, I'll bet they can.

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