Two tuberculosis survivors from Indian and South Africa have challenged Johnson and Johnson’s application to extend the patent over Bedaquiline, in order to keep it affordable for everyone.
Bedaquiline is a drug used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). MDR-TB is a condition where the TB bacteria has developed resistance to most antibiotic drugs.
The J&J patent application is being challenged on the grounds that the new salt form of Bedaquiline, does not merit patenting under India’s Patents Act, 1970. This is because it is a minor reformulation of the drug without any increase in therapeutic efficacy – often called as patent evergreening
In India, the high price of Bedaquiline is a significant barrier for the government to make it available to all patients, thus exposing patients to less effective drugs with severe side effects.