Federal Appeals Court Supports Eli Lilly’s Strattera Patent

Earlier on Friday, Eli Lilly announced that a federal appeals court upturned a decision that would permit generic sales of Lilly’s Strattera, a drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Lilly said that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the patent for Strattera is valid. The patent, which was being challenged by Generic drugmaker Actavis, is now valid until May 2017, and this decision would prevent generic versions of Strattera from hitting the market till then.

In an initial ruling made about a year ago in New Jersey, Lilly said that competition for Strattera by generic drugmakers would significantly affect its sales and added that it would slash an annual expense of $1 billion to compensate for that ruling and other upcoming patent decisions and expirations.

Although the generic by Actavis was approved by the FDA in September, the product did not hit the market for sales as Lilly was appealing the earlier court ruling.

In May 2008, the FDA approved Strattera (Atomoxetine). Although the first half of 2011 experienced a 1 percent rise in revenues, sales fell by 5 percent to $576.7 million in 2010.

In afternoon trading, shares of Eli Lilly and Co. spiked 25 cents to $38.25.

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