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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Courts Will Decide What Pills You Can Take: J&J Litigates

Johnson & Johnson is the latest drug company to press its intellectual property rights in court. To the relief of their shareholders, they won.

Risperdal, and antipsychotic drug brings in about $3 billion a year. A trip to court was worth the fare.

As generic drug companies push to get out their versions of products as they come off patent, they push the envelop ever further. Mylan Labs is ready to market a generic version of the JNJ drug, but the US court order the FDA to delay the effective date on which the generic could be marketed.

Generics are not only the bane of big pharma. Companies like Genentech and Amgen are beginning to realize that the generic drug companies want a piece of their business as well. The FDA does not have the authority over many of the products from the biotherapeutics companies, but competitors do not seem to care.

The generics are coming. It is only a question of when the courts will allow the doors to be opened.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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