Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said one of his firm's drugs was for 'western patients who can afford it'
The CEO of phamaceutical giant Bayer has sparked fury after announcing one of the firm's drugs was for 'western patients who can afford it'.
Marijn Dekkers made the inflammatory comments after the Indian company Natco Pharma Ltd. were granted a government licence to produce a copy of Bayer’s cancer drug Nexavar which they will sell for 97 per cent less than the original product.
Under Indian law the government grants compulsory licenses to domestic firms to produce copies of drugs if the original isn’t available locally at a reasonable price, regardless of whether they are under patent.
Mr Deekers, who has previously described India's patent laws as 'essentially theft', said: 'We did not develop this medicine for Indians. We developed it for western patients who can afford it.'
Nexavar, which is also known as Sorafenib, has been approved for the treatment of kidney cancer, advanced liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), and thyroid cancers that are resistant to radioactive iodine treatment.
Currently a kidney cancer patient would pay $96,000 (£58,000) for a year's course of the Bayer-made drug. However the cost of the Natco version would be around $2,800 (£1,700)................