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The federal Court of Appeals recently found the second of Pfizer’s patents on Lipitor to be invalid. This could cost Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug manufacture, billions of dollars in lost sales. The federal court ruling essentially shortens the mega manufacture’s exclusive right to sale Lipitor by 15 months. After the patent expires, other manufactures have the ability to generically produce the drug and save consumers billions of dollars a year.

According to

“It was a highly technical conclusion that [focused on] the issue of how you draft a patent,” said Haskins. He added that Pfizer would try to “correct some technicalities in the patent” with the patent office and, if that doesn’t work, will seek a review in the Court of Appeals.

When a drug company loses patent protection on a brand-name drug, the price plunges in the face of generic competition, and sales typically sink to a fraction of the original level.

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