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Canada Supreme Court strikes down Pfizer’s Viagra patent

According to ruling, Pfizer did not provide enough details about the drug’s active ingredient

World, if there is one thing I would criticize you for, it is that you are not filled with enough erectile dysfunction drugs. But luckily, the Canada Supreme Court is here to help. On Thursday, it struck down Pfizer Inc.’s patent on Viagra, opening the door for generic competition.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the largest generic drug maker in the world, argued that Pfizer was too vague when it filed its patent. The court agreed, unanimously, and in its 7-0 verdict wrote that Pfizer did not provide adequate details identifying Viagra’s active ingredient, and ended the company’s patent on the drug just less than two years away from when it would have run out anyway in 2014.

The Canadian patent on Viagra covered a staggering number of compounds—260 quintillion—but only one, sildenafil, was an active ingredient. The high court found that Pfizer did not provide enough information about sildenafil for another company to be able to produce the drug.

"Pfizer had the information needed to disclose the useful compound and chose not to release it," the court wrote. "Pfizer gained a benefit from the [Patent] Act—exclusive monopoly rights—while withholding disclosure in spite of its disclosure obligations under the act."

Pfizer will now face competition from generic manufacturers such as Teva in Canada.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

 

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