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After a controversial court case five years ago in India, drug makers were put on notice that additional patents on medicines would have to demonstrate a degree of innovation. But a new analysis finds the vast majority of so-called secondary patents were granted for only marginal improvements, raising questions about the extent to which companies are adding value to their drugs.

Specifically, 72 percent of granted patents were found to offer little improvement and the findings suggest the Indian Patent Office is failing to guard against evergreening, a strategy for extending the market exclusivity of a prescription drug in order to delay the entry of generic versions, according to the analysis by Accessibsa: Innovation & Access to Medicines in India, Brazil & South Africa.

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