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Pfizer to appeal over statin ruling


Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced it is to appeal against a Canadian Federal Court ruling over its statin Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium).

The court found in favour of generic manufacturer Apotex in its challenge to a Pfizer patent covering the drug.

Judges denied Pfizer’s request to prevent Apotex from launching a generic version of Lipitor prior to the expiration of an enantiomer patent in July 2010.

The court’s decision has no immediate commercial impact because Lipitor is protected by other patents in Canada, which are also the subject of pending legal challenges.

It also has no implications for other legal battles on the patent being conducted in other countries around the world.

The news comes after a court in Spain upheld a patent on the
cholesterol-busting drug back in October.

The Court of Appeal of Barcelona dismissed a challenged by generic company Lek Pharmaceuticals, in one of four separate battles over the drug by generic firms in Spain.

Lipitor can lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and also reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with multiple risk factors such as family history and high blood pressure.

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