Pfizer wins $2.15m to settle Protonix patent case

Teva Pharmaceuticals and Sun Pharmaceuticals have both reached a settlement agreement with Pfizer to resolve all patent infringement claims relating to sales of Pfizer’s acid-reflux drug, Protonix (pantoprazole).

Teva Pharma will pay US $800 million this year and the remaining $800 million in 2014m while Sun Pharma will make its payment of $550 million in full this year, to end a 10-year battle with Pfizer.

Pfizer’s partner on the drug, Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals, will receive 36% of the overall settlement.

“We are pleased to put this matter behind us as we continue to focus on delivering safe and affordable medicines to patients around the world.”

Richard Egosi, Group Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Protonix is indicated for adults and pediatric patients five years of age and older for the short-term treatment (up to 8 weeks) in the healing and symptomatic relief of acid-related damage to the esophagus. This condition is known as erosive esophagitis or erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and is caused by back up of stomach acid into the esophagus.

The drug recorded peak annual revenue of nearly $2 billion in 2007, before generic versions were launched by Teva in 2007 and Sun Pharma in 2008, causing Pfizer’s sales to plunge. The patent covering the active ingredient in the drug – pantoprazole – expired in January 2011.

This case marks the first time generic drugmakers have had to pay damages for marketing a copy of an existing drug for which patents have yet to expire, known as an ‘at-risk’ launch, according to Reuters.


Related news:

After 10-year fight, Pfizer wins huge patent settlement (New York Business Journal)

Teva, Sun Pharma to pay $2.15 billion to settle Pfizer patent suit (Reuters)

Reference links:

Teva Pharmaceuticals press release

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