A US judge has ruled that generic-drug makers should be prevented from selling lower-cost copies of Crestor, a cholesterol medicine made by AstraZeneca, until 2016.
At a court in Wilmington, Delaware, US District Judge Joseph J Farnan Jr ruled a patent in the active ingredient in Crestor is valid, and that no copies should be made.
The decision means other drug companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries will be unable to market copies of the drug.
AstraZeneca, the UK’s second largest drug manufacturer, along with patent partner Shionogi & Co which is based in Osaka, Japan, sued generic drug-making companies in 2007 to prevent them copying the cholesterol medicine before the US patent expires.
According to figures from Bloomberg, sales of Crestor were around $4.5 billion (£3 billion) last year.
David Brennan, AstrZeneca CEO, said: “The court’s decision reaffirms the strength of the intellectual property protecting Crestor.”
Copyright Press Association 2010