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India's choice affects millions

Published January 05. 2013 4:00AM   Updated January 05. 2013 4:48PM

JUDGMENT DAY: A legal ruling by India's Supreme Court expected soon will determine whether India's drug companies can continue to provide cheap versions of many life-saving medicines.

THE DETAILS: The 6-year-old case - involving Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG's cancer drug Glivec - pits aid groups that argue India plays a vital role as the pharmacy to the poor against drug companies that insist they need strong patents to make drug development profitable.

BIG SAVINGS: India's $26 billion generics industry is able to sell medicine for as little as one-tenth the price of the companies that developed them, making India the second-largest source of medicines distributed by UNICEF in its global programs.

- The Associated Press

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