Novartis said a Federal Court judge extended a temporary restraining order on sales of generic versions of its blood pressure drug Lotrel manufactured by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
However, the judge did continue to allow the sale of generic copies of Lotrel that had reached distributors and customers before the court’s initial temporary restraining order on May 19, the day after the FDA approved Teva’s generic version of the drug. Analysts said it is unclear how much inventory was already shipped.
Novartis claims Lotrel has valid patent rights until 2017 and that Teva’s generic version of the drug infringes on that patent. A final ruling in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey is expected in the “near future,” Novartis said in a statement.
Lotrel, which is only sold in the US, had 2006 sales of $1.3 billion.