It's Barr v. Watson in Estrostep face-off

Here's how winning a patent fight could become a setback. The drug in question: Estrostep Fe, the contraceptive pill made by Warner Chilcott. In 2004, Warner agreed to let generics maker Barr Laboratories launch a version of the pill this month--October 2007--six months before its last patent expires. On Friday, Barr got the FDA's nod for its copycat pill TriLegest Fe, planning to launch it immediately.

Meanwhile, Warner made a supply-and-sell deal with Watson Pharmaceuticals for the same drug. Warner will supply a generic version of Estrostep Fe to Watson, which will market and distribute it. Warner will get a share of the profits from this generic version, known as Tilia Fe. So Barr now faces competition from the source.

- see the release from Barr
- check out Warner Chilcott's release
- read about Barr's version of Estrostep Fe and about the Warner/Watson deal at CNN Money