The Lipitor patent has been in the news lately, as you can see from
this article on Bloomberg:
"The patent on Lipitor, the world's best-selling medicine expires in
2010. Pfizer also is bracing for patent expirations for the antibiotic
Zithromax in 2005, the antidepressant Zoloft in 2006 and the
blood-pressure treatment Norvasc in 2007..."
So, it looks like 2010 is E-day (expiration day!) for Lipitor.
A bit more detail can be found in Pfizer's most recetn annual report:
A generic manufacturer filed an abbreviated new drug application with
the FDA for atorvastatin (Lipitor) in 2002 and amended the application
in early 2003 to allege that its product would not infringe our basic
product patent for atorvastatin. Shortly thereafter, the generic
manufacturer also asserted that our patent covering the active
enantiomeric form of the drug is invalid. In 2003, we filed suits in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware against the
generic manufacturer for infringement of both our basic product patent
and our patent covering the active enantiomeric form of the drug. The
trial of this matter has been scheduled for November 30, 2004. Our
basic product patent, including the additional six-month pediatric
exclusivity period, expires in 2010. Our enantiomer patent, including
the six-month pediatric exclusivity period, provides one additional
year of protection, expiring in 2011.
So...there's actually a dual-expiriation, in both 2010 and 2011.
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