Ranbaxy, Pfizer settle Lipitor patent disputes

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (UNI) Pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd today said it has sorted out most of its patent disputes with the US drug maker Pfizer, clearing the way to launch a generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol drug Lipitor from November 30, 2011.

Ranbaxy also said it will have 180 days of market exclusivity following the US launch of a generic version of Lipitor, the world's biggest selling drug with sales of 12.7 billion dollars in 2007.

''This comprehensively settles outstanding issues between Ranbaxy and Pfizer bringing to closure a number of ongoing patent disputes,'' company Chief Executive and Managing Director Malvinder Mohan Singh said.

This will make the world's largest selling drug more accessible to patients who will gain from the timely availability of an affordable quality option, he added.

Ranbaxy said in a statement it will also have a licence to sell the drug in an additional seven countries, including Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Australia.

Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd had recently agreed to acquire majority stake of 50.1 per cent in the company, including the entire share of promoter Singh family, for 4.6 billion dollars.

UNI AK SBA ND1730

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