Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pfizer Fails to Maintain Patent on Norvasc in Canada

From Bloomberg:
Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drugmaker, failed to maintain its patent on the hypertension drug Norvasc in Canada after a federal judge granted Ratiopharm GmbH permission to sell a generic version of the medicine.

More than 7.8 million prescriptions of amlodipine besylate, marketed by Pfizer as Norvasc, are sold annually in Canada, Ulm, Germany-based Ratiopharm said today. A generic version probably will save Canadian patients about C$180 million ($155 million) a year, the closely held company said. Pfizer said it will appeal.

“We are extremely pleased at the decision by the Federal Court,” Jean-Guy Goulet, chief executive officer of Ratiopharm Canada, said in a statement. “This decision opens the amlodipine patent to generic manufacturers in Canada, the last major jurisdiction where the patent was held.”

Ratiopharm challenged the Canadian patent in 2004 and won in 2006. Pfizer successfully reversed the ruling on appeal. Ratiopharm then sued to invalidate Pfizer’s patent, with Judge Roger Hughes ruling in favor of Ratiopharm yesterday. ...more

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