Pfizer is hitting back at would-be Lipitor copycat Ranbaxy. The drugs giant sued the generics maker for patent infringement over the blockbuster cholesterol med Lipitor and Caduet, a combo of Lipitor and blood-pressure med Norvasc. Already blocked from selling copycat versions of the drugs till 2010, Ranbaxy would be stymied till 2016 if Pfizer's legal maneuvering succeeds.
Lipitor, of course, is Pfizer's cash cow, with $12.7 billion in 2007 sales, more than a quarter of the company's revenues; Caduet brought in $568 million. The suits allege that generic Lipitor and Caduet would trample on two Lipitor process patents, which don't expire until 2016. Pfizer asked the court to ban Ranbaxy from making, selling, or importing generic Lipitor till then. A Canadian court recently ruled in Pfizer's favor, protecting Lipitor from Ranbaxy until 2010.
ALSO: EMTs to Lipitor's rescue? A union representing emergency medical techs and paramedics recently mailed a letter to its doctors' network endorsing the cholesterol med. "When appropriate, we ask that you please consider an agent like Lipitor for our members with high cholesterol," an official of the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics wrote. "IAEP leadership stands behind Lipitor as the lipid-lowering agent of choice." Report