Actavis challenges pain patent

UK drug manufacturer King Pharmaceuticals said recently that they are prepared to take the Icelandic pharmaceutical company Actavis to court if that is what is required to protect a patent on a pain medication developed by their company.

Actavis recently filed paperwork with the US Food and Drug Administration requesting permission to produce a generic form on Avinza, a drug for pain produced by King.

In response, King officials have released a statement saying that they “intend to vigorously enforce the patent” they hold on their drugs.

“We have a valid patent, and we intend to enforce our patent,” said James Green, a spokesman for King. “The business of generic manufacturers is to challenge as many patents as possible, hoping to win a few.”

King are expected to begin legal proceedings within the next 45 days and it is likely the two companies will meet in a US court.

Green said, “in today’s environment, that’s not unusual at all.”

The patent on Avinza, which was bought for $246 million from San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals, is scheduled to expire on November 25th 2017. Since its purchase, the drug has become one of the company’s top three products in terms of sales.

In the first quarter of 2007, the drug generated $9 million in revenue for King, and a further $35 million in the second quarter.

Green said that it is Kings protocol to challenge every patent claim filed against a King product by generic manufacturers.