By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
THE NATION WEEKEND
In its Facebook page, BioThai Foundation revealed that judging from the latest status of medical cannabis patent applications in the Intellectual Property Department’s (IPD) system, it appeared that the seven controversial ones had been suspended. However, the organisation reminded the public.
Applications number 1101003758 for a cannabis-based anti-epilepsy drug and number 0901002471 for a cannabinoid mixture for curing tumours were revoked on Tuesday.
Also, patent applications numbered 1201004672, 1201005115, 1301003751, 1401001619 and 801006631 for cannabinoid formulae to treat cancer, epilepsy and seizures were dropped on Wednesday.
According to BioThai, all these patent applications had been submitted by UK’s GW Pharmaceuticals and Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceuticals.
On Monday, the National Council for Peace and Order ordered the IPD to dismiss seven remaining patent applications for cannabis-based medications in its system to help settle the controversy over transnational pharmaceutical giants’ move to monopolise the medical marijuana market in Thailand once the narcotic is legalised.
They can return
Hence, BioThai said, the public will have to continue closely monitoring the IPD’s moves, as the pharmaceutical giants can appeal against the dismissal of their applications within 60 days. Also, the corporations can submit new applications once the amended narcotics law is enforced allowing the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
BioThai has also called on IPD to protect the interests of Thai society strictly as required by law and turn down all applications that seek intellectual property protection for already existing innovations and natural extracts.
Otherwise, the foundation warned, it will become very difficult to revoke these illicit patent applications and they could obstruct research and development efforts in Thailand.