Pfizer loses major patent battle in the U.K.

Nov. 14, 2018

Lyrica has officially fallen off the patent cliff in Britain.  

Pfizer’s blockbuster medication had already lost its patent for epilepsy and general anxiety disorder, but the company was hoping to protect its indication for neuropathic pain. After a years-long legal row in the U.K., the case went all the way to the country’s Supreme Court, where, this week, Pfizer’s secondary patent claim was determined invalid. 

The decision is a huge blow for the company but a big win for generic rivals such as Mylan and Allergan.

Pfizer had argued that it wasn’t just trying to protect sales for its drug, but also arguing the point on principal. 

"The period that a medicine is under patent is a critical phase in its lifecycle that fuels innovation — as science evolves and knowledge grows, patients increasingly benefit from ongoing research into new uses for existing medicines," the company said.

Although Lyrica has also lost its patent in the U.S., Pfizer says it doesn’t expect generics competition for the drug until next year. 

Read the full Reuters report.