Judge Rules Against Generic Drug Manufacturers in Crestor Patent Challenge
As news surrounding the major pharmaceutical has become less than cheerful lately in the wake of Merck’s loss over Fosamax and new studies linking Glaxo’s blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia to heart-failure, the industry should enjoy some relief today from AstraZeneca’s successful defense of its own blockbuster cholesterol drug, Crestor. Several generics manufacturers had challenged the Crestor patent on grounds that the invention was obvious to anyone skilled in the art of drug development. The victory was critical for the company, since Crestor sales in the U.S. alone topped $2.1 billion in 2009. The news will not be taken so favorably however, by patients hoping to see a cheap generic version on the market soon. The key patent on the drug isn’t set to expire before 2016, and the challenging companies haven’t issued any statements on their plans for the case from this point forward.
With its cholesterol drug safe for the moment, and the hotdog and cheeseburger laden days of the 4th of July and beyond quickly approaching, it might come as no surprise that AstraZeneca stock jumped 9% on the news.