Pfizer Sues Indian Drugmaker Ranbaxy to Block Generic Diflucan
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. has sued the Indian drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. to block its FDA application to sell a generic version of Pfizer's brand name antifungal treatment Diflucan, Bloomberg/Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Ranbaxy claims that Pfizer's patent, which covers the chemical compound for the drug fluconazole, is invalid. Pfizer says that the patent for the drug, which earns $1 billion per year, is valid and that Ranbaxy would infringe upon it if the FDA were to approve the company's application to sell a generic version. In February, a federal judge in Illinois upheld Pfizer's Diflucan patent after Ontario-based generic drug maker Novopharm Ltd. sought FDA approval to sell fluconazole. Pfizer, which had filed suit against Novopharm for patent infringement, said Ranbaxy has been notified of that ruling (Decker, Bloomberg/Memphis Commercial Appeal, 6/6). Pfizer distributes Diflucan free of charge to people with AIDS in six African nations (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/3/01). Ranbaxy provides generic antiretroviral drugs at discounted prices to several African countries (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.