Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Global Commerce

The Ranbaxy vs. Pfizer battle is worth watching.

Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday that it planned to vigorously defend its best-selling Lipitor drug against claims by an Indian generic-drug manufacturer that it can market its own version of the cholesterol-lowering medication.

Pfizer will square off against Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. next Tuesday in federal district court in Delaware, where Ranbaxy's attorneys will challenge Pfizer's patents on Lipitor, the world's top-selling drug, which generated sales of more than $9 billion this past year.

Pfizer had filed legal briefs seeking to dismiss the suit but was denied. The case is a significant one for Pfizer because of the huge success of Lipitor, the drug of choice among many of the world's physicians to lower cholesterol.

The Wall Street Journal said in a story in Tuesday's edition that analysts have called the Pfizer challenge by the generic drugmaker a long shot, but that if it prevailed it would send shock waves throughout the pharmaceutical industry.

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