PHARMACY

GSK sues U.S. patent office over new rules

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON GlaxoSmithKline has sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to block them from enforcing new patent rules that that company claims will harm about 100 of its pending applications for new products, according to the Associated Press.

According to the Patent and Trademark Office, the rules, which are scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 1, are intended to streamline the application process by limiting the number of times patent applicants can change existing applications. “These rules better focus examination and will bring closure to the examination process more quickly, while ensuring quality,” Jon Dudas, director of the PTO, said in August.

GlaxoSmithKline is arguing that pharmaceutical companies frequently seek to change the scope of patents because, as drugs are tested and researched, additional applications are discovered.

The suit was filed on Oct. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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Wyeth hit with $134.5 million in Nevada lawsuit

BY Drew Buono

RENO, Nev. Wyeth has been ordered by a Washoe county court to pay more than $43 million each to three northern Nevada women who claimed that the company’s hormone replacement drugs, Prempro and Premarin caused their breast cancer, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The jury said the drugs were defective and found the company negligent for producing, manufacturing and selling them. The jurors awarded $7.5 million to each woman in past damages and $36 million-$40 million in future damages.

The jurors still have to decide whether the company is liable for punitive damages. Wyeth is also fighting about 5,300 similar lawsuits involving 7,800 women in state and federal courts across the country.

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Teva sues Apotex over Coreg infringement

BY Drew Buono

TRENTON, N.J. Teva has sued Apotex to prevent it from selling a generic version of the heart medication Coreg, according to Bloomberg.

The two companies, as well as other generic drug makers, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell a generic version on Sept. 5.  Teva says it owns four patents that cover various forms and processes to make the generic, carvedilol. The company also said that Apotex might have to buy the compound made using the patented process in order to sell the generic.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday in a federal court in New Jersey. Coreg had sales of $853.8 million in the first six months of 2007.

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