A U.S. appeals court upheld a ruling that throws into question the ability of generic companies to “carve out” uses for their medicines and supply Americans with lower-cost alternatives to pricey brand-name drugs. And the generic maker on the losing end of this legal battle, Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA), now plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
At issue is skinny labeling, which is when a generic company seeks regulatory approval to market its medicine for a specific use, but not other patented uses for which a brand-name drug is prescribed. For instance, a generic drug could be marketed to treat one type of heart problem, but not another. In doing so, the generic company seeks to avoid lawsuits claiming patent infringement.
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