About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Patent Granted For Pneumonia Vaccine Raises Concern

by Julia Samuel on November 7, 2017 at 3:09 PM
Font : A-A+

Patent Granted For Pneumonia Vaccine Raises Concern

Humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or "Doctors without Borders" approached the Delhi High Court to overturn a patent granted on Prevenar 13, Pfizer's pneumococcal vaccine.

MSF contended that the patent granted by the Delhi Patent Office in August was "erroneous" and it disregarded evidence that the product was not a technical advancement, but involved a "mere addition of serotypes" to its already established 7-valent vaccine.


MSF added that the decision indicated a weakening of India's strict patentability standards. India's amended Patents Act (2005) does not grant patents on a tweeked product unless it demonstrated greater efficacy.

Pfizer said, "Prevenar 13 provides the broadest serotype coverage of any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available in the world today." Each dose of PCV 13 requires two and a half years to manufacture with 400 different raw materials, 580 manufacturing steps and 678 quality tests. In fact, adds an industry representative, patentability is not "subjective" and the patent office granted a patent only after evaluating technical details.

Prevenar 13 was included in the Government's immunisation programme in May. And it is being given at $3.05 per dose for the pilot phase, which covered 20 per cent of India's 26 million births, the representative added.

Prevenar 13 For Pneumonia

PCV13 safeguards against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria. MSF's Leena Menghaney says that Indian vaccine companies were spending time and effort to develop similar vaccines through a patent non-infringing process, when the patent shouldn't have been granted in the first place. When the Government scales up its immunisation programme, there should be enough capacity to provide them, she added.

Responding to statements that Prevenar 13 faces patent challenges in Europe, South Korea and the US, Pfizer clarified that "Prevenar 13's patent remains valid in EU (European Union). The EU patent revocation order is under suspension and Pfizer's appeal is being considered.

In other countries where the patent was challenged such as Japan, the decision to grant Prevenar 13 a patent was upheld. In Korea, Pfizer is in the end stages of the appeal while having won at the trial court level. In fact, the US tribunal in charge too has rendered its decision last week, upholding the... patent."

Bringing Down Patenting Standards

A patent gives an innovator 20 years of unbridled market access to be help recoup research costs. But public health workers apprehend that such a monopoly could see medical products getting priced beyond the reach of ordinary people.

Responding to allegations on high price and being anti-competition, Pfizer said, "In the private market in India, Pfizer introduced Prevenar PCV7 covering seven serotypes, in 2006. In the past decade, a newer vaccine was developed to include 13 serotypes that together cover 78.4% of the serotypes of Pneumococcal Disease found in India, while keeping the price even in 2017 the same as it was for PCV7 in 2006 inspite of... inflation."

Domestic vaccine makers Panacea Biotec (also involved in challenging Prevenar) and Serum Institute are in the same segment. Serum Executive Director Dr Suresh Jadhav said their 10-valent vaccine was at least 18 months away. With MSF and Pfizer bracing for the long haul, this case will be closely watched as it is bound to impact on public health.

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Hib Vaccine Pneumonia Q Fever Silicosis Respiratory Distress Syndrome Vaccination for Children Cough Symptom Evaluation Legionnaires’ disease Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) in Children 

Recommended Reading
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by a bacteria or a virus. It causes inflammation .....
New Vaccine Offers Universal Prevention from Pneumonia
New pneumonia vaccine provides the most comprehensive coverage to date and alleviates antimicrobial ...
Commonly Used Sedatives Linked to Pneumonia Risk in Alzheimer’s Patients
Commonly used benzodiazepine sedatives are found to increase the risk of pneumonia in patients with ...
Adenovirus Causes Infection That May Lead to Pneumonia
A hacking cough that is plaguing thousands of people across the country could be caused by the ......
Cough Symptom Evaluation
Cough is a symptom of a condition usually affecting the respiratory tract. It may be acute or chroni...
Hib Vaccine
The Hib vaccine protects children against infections like meningitis and pneumonia that are caused b...
Legionnaires’ disease
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by a type of bacteria. The infection is l...
Q Fever
Q Fever takes its origin from word “query” and is caused by bacteria Coxiella burnetii that infects ...
Respiratory Distress Syndrome
ARDS is a lung condition where the patient suffers from sudden breathlessness, low blood oxygen leve...
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) in Children
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections. RSV infect...
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline free silica dust. It is characterise...
Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked
Childhood vaccination has saved many lives, yet lots more has to be done to increase awareness and e...
Vaccination for Children
Vaccines are biological products that impart immunity to the recipient. Vaccines may be live attenua...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use