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Australia: Generic Lipitor sales spell trouble for Pfizer

 |  February 13, 2014

Global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is entwined in a legal battle with Australian competition regulators, reports say, regarding a dispute over the sale of the generic form of Lipitor.

Reports say the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission filed a law suit against Pfizer on Thursday regarding its contracts with pharmacies made in 2012. The ACCC says the agreements required pharmacies to purchase a 12-month supply of the generic in order to receive discounts; the agreements were struck just before the Lipitor patent expired in May, 2012.

ACCC head Rod Sims offered a statement, claiming Pfizer made the agreements “for the purpose of deterring or preventing competitors in the market for [the Lipitor generic] from engaging in competitive conduct.”

Pfizer similarly offered a statement to defend itself, saying it believes the contracts it struck with pharmacies were competitive.

Reports say the ACCC’s case against the pharmaceutical company simultaneously raises public awareness of patent issues; Sims told reporters that this is “an important public interest issue regarding the conduct of a patent holder nearing the expiry of that patent.”

Full Content: Bloomberg

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