Thai govt hospitals to prescribe cheaper Indian heart drug

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Bangkok, Jun 19 (UNI) State hospitals in Thailand will start prescribing a cheaper generic Indian version of a patented heart medication, public health officials here said.

The first lot of 1.2 million tablets of clopidogrel manufactured by Cadilla Healthcare in India has arrived after being delayed by legal problems, Mr Wanchai Supachaturas, deputy managing director of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) said. Clopidogrel is a generic version of the drug sold worldwide under the brand name Plavix.

The Plavix patent is owned by Sanofi-Aventis which had threatened legal proceedings against Cadilla after the Indian company entered into the deal with the Thai government last year.

The decision last January by Thailand's then post-coup government to import the generic version of the drug from India under a compulsory licensing scheme had upset drug transnational companies and the US.

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