For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Sunday, 23 November 2003

GSK GETS THAT SICK FEELING AS ANTIBIOTIC PATENTS MEET AN EARLY DEATH

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the world's second largest drugs group, has lost its action to prevent Swiss company Novartis making and selling cheap generic versions of Augmentin, GSK's leading antibiotic. GSK’s proceedings were aimed both against Novartis and its generic company, Geneva Pharmaceuticals. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favour of Novartis and Geneva late on Friday, upholding Geneva's claim that seven of GSK's patents for the drug were "improper and should not have been used to extend patent protection for [GSK's] product".

Novartis and Geneva surprised the market in 2002 when it launched a generic version of Augmentin. The launch came after an unexpected US legal decision in May 2002 that a number of GSK's patents for Augmentin were invalid. GSK spent over a year fighting the decision but the original ruling has now been upheld, ending the legal dispute between the companies. In 2001 Augmentin had US sales of almost $1bn. In the first quarter of 2003, sales were $83m, down 64 per cent against the same period last year. A spokesman for GSK said the company remains committed to its newer Augmentin antibiotic medicines - Augmentin ES and XR - which now account for nearly 35 per cent of the total number of prescriptions for branded and generic Augmentin.

The IPKat commiserates with GSK’s shareholders on the likely diminution of the value of their share holdings in the light of this decision, but he reminds them that we live in a world of swings and roundabous - this decision should at least help to reduce their medical bills.

More on antibiotics here, here and here


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