AstraZeneca Will Appeal Prilosec Patent Decision that ‘Paves the Way’ for Generic Competition
Drug maker AstraZeneca said yesterday that it will appeal a court ruling issued last month that "paved the way" for the introduction of a generic version of its ulcer medicine Prilosec, AP/Long Island Newsday reports (Agovino, AP/Long Island Newsday, 11/6). On Oct. 11, U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that Kudco, a U.S. unit of German drug maker Schwarz Pharma, had not violated AstraZeneca's patent, "(leaving) the door wide open" for Kudco to produce generic Prilosec, which could be worth $50 million in sales in 2003. Last week, generic drug makers Andrx and Genpharm announced that they would join Kudco in creating and launching a generic version of Prilosec (American Health Line, 11/1). AstraZeneca said in a statement that a review of the court's decision "revealed that the court made reversible errors in determining key facts and applying the law." The company did not specify the alleged errors or say when it would appeal the decision. Kudco officials said last week that the company would introduce a version of the drug by the end of the year regardless of AstraZeneca's appeal (AP/Long Island Newsday, 11/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.