Nexavar, a kidney and liver cancer drug made by Bayer, costs an estimated $69,000 for a year of treatment, Forbes reported in 2012. That year, an Indian company got a license to make a generic version of the same drug and sell it at a 97 percent discount. The license came from the Indian government, without consulting Bayer. Now the government is preparing to give out more licenses for Indian companies to make expensive Western drugs for Indian citizens to take, Bloomberg News reports.
The Bloomberg and Forbes stories offer a glimpse into a fascinating practice that's got Western drug companies riled up and seems to have no easy solutions.