The generic-drug maker's latest victim was poor Medicis Pharmaceutical
The launch put a lot of pressure on Medicis. The two companies could continue their ongoing patent dispute in court while Teva made money selling generic Solodyne. If Teva won the court case, Medicis would be completely out of luck. If Teva lost, Medicis could demand triple damages for the insult. Or, as a not-so-happy medium, Medicis could settle with Teva to extend its window of exclusivity for Solodyne a bit longer. That's exactly what it did.
As in Teva's prior tussle with AstraZeneca, the generic-drug maker and Medicis settled today, ensuring Teva's right to eventually sell generic Solodyn. Teva gets to keep the profits from any sales it made yesterday, and it will be able to relaunch in November 2011 at the latest. The companies didn't say, but Teva may have agreed to a royalty on the product, since Medicis claims to have patents that protect Solodyn beyond that date. Last December, Medicis settled with another generic-drug maker, Impax Laboratories
Medicis still has potential generic competition from Mylan
At risk launches -- even the threat of them -- are a great way for generic-drug makers to turn a low-margin business into a real moneymaker, as long as they don't end up paying court-ordered damages. No one seems to walk that fine line better than Teva.
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