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Generic company fails to overturn Lipitor patent in UK

Published on 29/06/06 at 11:49am

A legal challenge to overturn Pfizer's UK patent on its top-selling cholesterol treatment has failed.

Lipitor is the biggest selling drug in the world and in the UK, earning Pfizer 40 million pounds from GP prescribing in England in 2005.

Generics company Ranbaxy first mounted a legal challenge against Pfizer's patents on the drug last year, but were defeated in October, despite the judge ruling one patent invalid.

The Court of Appeal has now confirmed the October decision that found a proposed Ranbaxy generic would infringe Pfizer's basic Lipitor patent.

Pfizer Vice Chairman and General Counsel Jeffrey B Kindler said: "We are pleased with appellate court decision, which affirms the lower court ruling on our basic patent for Lipitor. This decision is consistent with the fundamental principle that patents exist to support the work of medical innovators pursuing discoveries that benefit current and future generations of patients around the world."

The court's decision blocks Ranbaxy from launching a generic version in the UK before basic patent expires in November 2011, although Ranbaxy is currently considering whether or not to take a final appeal to the House of Lords.

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