Warner Chilcott sues Watson to stop generic contraceptive

In a bit of drug family planning, Warner Chilcott ($WCRX) has sued Watson Pharmaceuticals ($WPI) to prevent it from putting out a generic version of its oral contraceptive Lo Loestrin Fe.

It is a sensitive time for Warner Chilcott, which recently announced that it was exploring alternative strategies for the company, the buzzwords that indicate that it is probably putting itself on the market. It has said it is talking with potential suitors. By going to court, Warner freezes the FDA from approving the generic for 2½ years, reminds Bloomberg.

Warner Chilcott, in its federal court filing, claims that Watson, a large generic player, would violate two patents and seeks to hold it off until they expire in July 2014 and February 2029, reports Bloomberg.

Warner Chilcott had revenue of $2.7 billion last year, led in part by the Loestrin portfolio of drugs, but sales are predicted to fall 15% for the three years ending in 2014 as generics begin to attack the line. Meanwhile, production of its Ovcon 50 mg contraceptive has been interrupted because the plant in Puerto Rico where it is manufactured is laboring under an FDA warning letter. 

- read the Bloomberg story