Indonesia may be getting caught up in a TB medicine dispute. Sanofi has filed numerous patents for medicines combining two APIs, rifapentine and isoniazid. Both APIs are out of patent protection globally. Sanofi patents include the combination of the drugs including as child formulations and film coated tablets. Some countries granted them, others objected. For example the patent for a film coated tablet and dispersible formulation was objected to in India as being a combination of two existing drugs so not patentable there.
Sanofi’s strategy appears to have been to file multiple forms, but to accept that some may not be patented, in order to get others accepted. In Indonesia, the child formulations and film coated tablets patent was withdrawn in order to get the combination of isoniazid and rifapentine drugs accepted.
Activists in India including Médecins Sans Frontières are particularly vociferous given TB is a serious problem there and there are concerns whether such countries can procure generic combinations of the two APIs if a patent is granted. Sanofi is coming under pressure to surrender all of its patents for these compounds and formulations.