Appeals court upholds drug companies' right to manufacture generic OxyContin
- The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated four patents held by Purude Pharma for its painkiller OxyContin. The ruling could open the door for several other companies, including Teva and Amneal Pharmaceuticals, to bring a generic version to market.
- The only generic versions of OxyContin currently permitted for sale are "authorized generics," or exact copies of Purdue Pharma's branded version. Teva and others are seeking to make a different version of OxyContin's active ingredient, oxycodone.
- Purdue has attempted to protect its patents in the courts, and had appealed an earlier District Court decision ruling in favor of Teva and others' claims.
Although some of Purdue's patents on OxyContin have expired, the Connecticut-based company is attempting to police several current patents. Three of the patents re related to an improved formulation of oxycodone while the other patent is tied to an abuse-deterrence feature built into Purdue's formulation of OxyContin.
U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein asserted in January 2014 that the patents are not valid, because they do not add enough to what was already known, according to a report from Reuters.