The Indian patent office yanked Pfizer's patent on the kidney cancer drug Sutent. The move was a victory for local drugmakers Cipla and Natco Pharma, which legally protested Sutent's patent protection.
Pfizer plans to appeal the decision. But in doing so, it will join two of its Big Pharma brethren who've so far been unsuccessful. Bayer fought back when India forced it to license its cancer drug Nexavar to Natco, allowing the domestic drugmaker to launch a much cheaper copy. It was the Indian government's first compulsory license, allowed in certain circumstances under World Trade Organization rules.
And Novartis has been fighting for patent protection for its cancer fighter Glivec for years. The case wended its way to the country's Supreme Court.