[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

PATNEWS: An interesting measure of novelty for drug patents (fwd)

  Regarding patents, competition and pricing of ulcer drugs. 
  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
  Date: Thu, 13 Jun 1996 22:16:18 -0400
  From: Gregory Aharonian <srctran@world.std.com>
  To: patent-news@world.std.com
  Subject: PATNEWS: An interesting measure of novelty for drug patents
  !19960614  An interesting measure of novelty for drug patents
      The Wall Street Journal reports that Astra AB, a Swedish drug maker,
  agreed to drop patent infringement lawsuits pending in 10 countries between
  itself and Altana AG, a German company.  At issue are ulcer drugs (Astra
  sells Losec, Altana sells Pantoprazole) that sell bigtime - Losec sales
  being in the billions of dollars.  Because Altana is now more able to sell
  its drug, analysts and investors figured that there will be more competition,
  and therefore less profits for Astra and more for Altana.  Not surprisingly,
  Astra's stock price dropped and Altana's rose.
      What's interesting is that Astra had won a similar infringement suit
  against Takeda Chemical Industries of Japan a few years ago.  At least to
  all involved, Altana's version was different enough, but not Takeda's.
  For those of you interested in obviousness determination for drugs, taking
  a look at all three patents (and I don't know their numbers) should provide
  an interesting example.
      The article goes on to recount what happened when the two companies
  did compete.  When Altana launched sales of its drug, it priced it 15%
  lower than Astra's, and soon picked up significant market share.  Astra
  then lowered its drug price, and then Glaxo slashed the price of its ulcer
  drug, Zantac, by 30%, just as Glaxo's German patent expired (amongst other
  things to make it harder for generic to market Zantac clones).   What a
  difference enough of a difference makes in patenting drugs.
  Greg Aharonian
  Internet Patent News Service
  P.O. Box 404, Belmont, MA, 02178
  617-489-3727,  patents@world.std.com
  (for info on free subscription, send 'help' to   patents@world.std.com )
  (for prior art search services info, send 'prior' to patents@world.std.com )