Glaxo reaps GATT's gifts

Published: Tuesday 31 January 1995

GATT seems to have done a lot of good to Glaxo. Consequent to changes in us patent laws, the company's patent for its renowned anti-ulcer drug Zantac has won an extension up to July 25, 1997. That gives an 18-month reprieve -- and nearly $5 billion in additional sales -- to the drug.

Pharmaceutical giants like Switzerland's Ciba were preparing to launch rival products in the us when Zantac's patent expired on December 5, 1994. To comply with gatt's regulations, the us announced that it would now honour patents for 20 years, which were previously valid for 17 years from the date of filing the patent application.

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