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NATION BRIEFS

Asthma drug

New Delhi, Dec. 11 (PTI): The Indian patents office has revoked the patent for an asthma drug held by US-based Merck & Co after domestic drug firm Cipla challenged it.

Assistant controller of patents and designs T.V. Madhusudhan revoked the patent on the ground that it lacked invention. Schering Corporation, which was later acquired by Merck & Co, had applied for the patent in February 2004 and got it in March 2011 before Cipla opposed it.

Indian jailed

New York (PTI): An Indian woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $14 million on charges of health care fraud. Meera Sachdeva had defrauded the federal insurance programme by submitting false claims for chemotherapy service.

Patients hit

Gurgaon (PTI): Around seven to eight armed men barged into a Gurgaon hospital on Tuesday and shot at two persons who were undergoing treatment. Satveer and Joginger have been shifted to another hospital in a serious condition. Witnesses said the incident could be a fallout of a property dispute. An FIR has been lodged.

Rape probe

Bangalore (PTI): Karnataka High Court has directed the government to appoint women police officers “as far as practicable” to investigate rape cases. Chief justice Vikramajit Sen said victims could confide better if women officers were investigating such cases.

Goa heritage

Panaji (PTI): The Archdiocese of Goa has decided to preserve Portuguese era Christian heritage artefacts lying in various churches as museum. Special heritage cells manned by experts will be formed for preserving the artefacts. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao had recently said the heritage needs to be “protected, preserved and conserved”.

Farmer deaths

Karimnagar (PTI): Around 608 farmers have committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh’s Karimnagar district in the past 14 years, joint collector H. Arun Kumar has said. The main reason, he said, was poverty and indebtedness.