n a blow to Allergan (AGN), a federal judge invalidated the patents on its Restasis eye treatment, the latest twist in a captivating controversy over the fate of the best-selling medicine.

The ruling brings some of the largest generic drug makers — Mylan and Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) — a big step closer to selling lower-cost versions of a product that generated nearly $1.5 billion in sales last year. For now, though, the companies must first win regulatory approval and, meanwhile, battle in court still more since Allergan plans to appeal. And this will take months to resolve, stretching well into next year.

This is a STAT Plus article and you can unlock it by subscribing to STAT Plus today. It's easy! Your first 30 days are free and if you don't enjoy your subscription you can cancel any time.
Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • I have been consorting with the denizens of Big Pharma long enough to sniff out this odoriferous strategy. It is essentially similar to what my marketing colleagues do when the put out ads knowingly containing violative material. They know that it will take FDA at least six months to nail them and they can jack the sales until they get nailed.

    Same deal here. Allergan knew ahead of time the odds were not in their favor, but given the slow grinding the legal system they will probably hoist the price of Restasis and jack another year’s sales before they have to take their toys home.

    Brothers and sisters: whether it’s shenanigans by pharma Marketeers or pharma company lawyers, it’s all the same game, called WHACK-A-MOLE, and one of the reasons, among many that this industry, which I was once proud to be a part of has tossed its reputation down the sh**ter.

Sign up for our Morning Rounds newsletter

Your daily dose of what’s new in health and medicine.