Predictably the court ruling was hailed internationally, especially by those who were agitated by the inequities of the patent system that left millions of poor high and dry.
The company, though, is unrelenting in its legal battle, and is now fighting it in a different forum - the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.
On the other hand in the last 12 months, quite a few Indian doctors did have their run-ins with the law.
At least two cases need mention in this round up of the health scenario. One, the shocking case of a doctor couple in central Tamil Nadu supervising their 15-year old son perform caesarean on a woman. Two, a well-known nephrologist from Chennai being charged with operating an international kidney racket.
In the first instance, a surgeon Dr Murugesan, hailing from small town Manapparai proudly played a Video Compact Disc to an audience from the local unit of the Indian Medical Association in which his school-going son was shown performing caesarean section. A shocked medical fraternity immediately called for action against the doctor, while the police hunted for his son. Caught in a tight spot, the doctor later claimed that he had performed the surgery and not his son, but that did not hold water. Ultimately the doctor couple were barred from practising by the state medical council.
The second case involved Dr P Ravichandran who was arrested by the police in Mumbai, India's commercial capital, for operating a kidney racket, violating the Human Organ Transplantation Act. The doctor is now in jail and has been accused of trade in human organs to help patients from as far as Bangladesh, India's neighbour in the east.
"Both these incidents are a blot on the medical profession. They should certainly serve as an eye-opener for doctors and make the government strengthen vigilance of this sector," says Dr N Mohandas, president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the Indian Medical Association.
And for the first time in the country, its federal Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss fought, what seemed almost like a pitched street battle, though sans violence, with Dr P Venugopal, the administrative head of the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS). It is a prestigious government teaching hospital situated in the national capital of New Delhi.
In an interim victory, the Health Minister sacked Dr Venugopal from the post, but the war has hardly been won, what with the matter now being in the domain of the Supreme Court.
Minister Ramadoss was also the target of attack by undergraduate medical students in the country, particularly in his home state of Tamil Nadu, for seeking to introduce a year's rural practice as a prerequisite for completing the medical degree course. Strikes and agitations forced the Minister to rethink his plan.
Such blemishes apart, the future does hold some good news for Indians with doctors set to capitalise on the rapid advancements in the field of surgery that has brought in a reverse flow of patients from abroad. Innovation and success could well be the watchwords for 2008 in the Indian medical arena, experts say.
But not to be forgotten, Dr Mohandas, enters the caveat - "The year surely witnessed several scientific advances in the medical field like that of stem cells, no doubt. At the same time, there have been several cases of diarrhea and viral infections."
Nowadays everyone seems to be pitching for the privatization of healthcare, at least for public-private partnership, for starters. What it will all mean for the vast masses remains to be seen.
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