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Astrazeneca Sues Watson Over Generic Crestor

From Associated Press (October 26, 2010)

WASHINGTON -- Drug developer and maker AstraZeneca filed a lawsuit Tuesday to stop generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals from launching a cheaper version of AstraZeneca's blockbuster cholesterol drug Crestor.

Watson notified AstraZeneca last month that it would seek approval for a version of Crestor, an AstraZeneca spokeswoman said. The company responded Tuesday by filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Delaware, alleging that Watson's drug would infringe on an AstraZeneca patent.

Crestor is a key moneymaker for AstraZenca, with sales of $4.5 billion in 2009. The patent is set to expire in 2016 and generic competition earlier would severely cut into sales.

Watson Pharmaceuticals and seven other generic drug makers previously challenged AstraZeneca in the same federal court in an effort to market generic versions of Crestor, but the court sided with AstraZeneca in June and upheld its patents on Crestor.

Generic drug makers routinely challenge the patents on best-selling drugs to win the right to market generic versions.

Posted: October 2010

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