Unipharm Doing an At Risk Launch of Generic Viagra

pfizer-viagra-aAccording to Itzhak Dannon writing in Jewish Business News, the American company Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, recently filed a civil suit in Tel Aviv District Court, seeking  monetary relief to the tune of NIS10 million (over $2,700,000) as well as extensive equitable relief in the forms of a permanent injunction, a writ of mandamus and accounting, against the pharmaceutical company Unipharm of Tel Aviv and Trima Israel Pharmaceutical Products  of Ma’abarot. For more details, see here

 

The lawsuit claims that Pfizer developed and refined the active ingredient of Viagra, sildenafil.  It further claims that earlier this year defendant Unipharm turned to Pfizer and proposed that in return for a financial settlement it would avoid launching a preparation containing sildenafil, to be used to treat erectile dysfunction. The complaint alleges that Pfizer rejected the attempt at extortion and would not even consider such a “business proposal.”  Pfizer avers that it made it clear to Unipharm that any launch of such a product, before its patent expires, will immediately result in legal action it would take against the intended infringer.

According to Pfizer, the defendants could not resist the temptation to make “a quick buck” before the expiration of the patent protecting Viagra and launched a preparation containing sildenafil for treatment of impotency, marketed by them under the name Tarim.

COMMENTS

‘Tarim’ is the second person singular (masculine) of to raise or erect. Not a bad name, I suppose.

I suspect that Unipharm feel that in light of a recent Canadian judgement they can withstand a law suit and Pfizer will have their patent voided – presumably for lack of enabling disclosure and perhaps lack of novelty of the key ingredient. Unipharm has a good track record at having patents for pharmaceuticals voided.  No doubt this case will attract a lot of attention.

 

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