High Court strikes down Merck's patent on alendronate

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:243
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    Two patents held by pharmaceutical giant Merck for the drug alendronate (Fosamax) have been struck down in the British High Court, leaving the field clear for manufacturers of generic drugs. Alendronate is used in the treatment of osteoporosis and Paget's disease.

    The lawsuit was filed by Israeli generic drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and the British companies Arrow Generics and Generics (UK). They sought revocation of two Merck patents in the United Kingdom: the original 1982 patent covering alendronate's use for osteoporosis and a 1997 …

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