Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pfizer's Celebrex Patent Upheld

My opinion.
It's bad news for patients, but good news for Pfizer.

A federal court in the District of New Jersey (Newark) has upheld Pfizer's three main U.S. patents covering Celebrex, a selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicine used to treat pain and inflammation. Generic manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals USA had challenged the patents.

Judge John C. Lifland ruled that the patents covering the active ingredient, pharmaceutical composition, and method of use for Celebrex are valid, enforceable and infringed by the generic manufacturer's product. The decision, which may be appealed, prohibits Teva from launching a competitor drug in the U.S. until December 2015.

Celebrex is used to:
  • relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis (the arthritis caused by age-related “wear and tear” on bones and joints)
  • relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in adults
  • manage acute pain in adults (like the short term pain you can get after a dental or surgical operation)
  • treat painful menstrual cycles
  • reduce the number of colon and rectum growths (colorectal polyps) in patients with a disease called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). FAP is an inherited disease in which the rectum and colon are covered with many polyps. Celebrex is used along with the usual care for FAP patients such as surgery and exams of the rectum and colon.