Earlier this year in March, we had blogged on the dispute between Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) and Ranbaxy, where the Delhi High Court refused to grant an ex parte interim injunction against Ranbaxy. Instead, the Court issued notice to Ranbaxy and subsequently arguments on the application for interim injunction were heard.
Yesterday, the Economic Times reported that the Court has rejected BMS’s application for interim injunction against Ranbaxy’s generic version of the drug Baraclude (Entecavir), which is used to treat Hepatitis B. The drug was granted by the Mumbai Patent Office in 2008 pursuant to an application filed in 2001 and has reportedly earned BMS a whopping $439 in the six months preceding June 2010.
The Court held that BMS’s patent on Entecavir appeared prima facie "vulnerable" in addition to bringing in the now-standard “public interest” angle into the picture. The Court held that patients of Hepatitis B shouldn’t be deprived of access to Ranbaxy’s low-cost generic version during the pendency of the suit. Reportedly, generic versions of Baraclude cost less than half of BMS’s tablets of 0.5 and 1mg dosages.
However, the Court has asked Ranbaxy to maintain an account of its sales.
This decision is probably a shot in the arm for Cadila and Natco which too have launched their respective generic versions of Baraclude.
We welcome information and opinion from our readers on the case.