Diabetes Patent Wars In India: Glenmark’s Copycat Enjoined; MSD Prevails

As we have repeatedly noted, MSD India (that’s Merck’s ex-US naming convention, for its in-country operating subsidiaries) had long ago (circa April 2011) struck a deal with Sun Pharma to eventually make an “authorized generic” of sitagliptin in India.

And so, even as Glenmark completes the sell-off of its existing inventory, Merck is unlikely to benefit much from the India High Court ruling, entered overnight, New York time. Most analysts estimate that Glenmark still has a month’s worth of inventory it is allowed to sell — and then the lower priced Sun authorized generic will take the lead, on low price alternatives to Januvia® and Janumet® in India.

From the Business Standard, in any event then — the operative bit:

. . . .According to reports, the Delhi High Court today, 7 October 2015, restrained Glenmark Pharmaceuticals from manufacturing and selling its anti-diabetes drugs Zita and Zita-Met, saying it has infringed patent of US-based Merck Sharp and Dohme.

Justice A K Pathak reportedly said that in view of the finding returned on the issues, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is restrained by decree of permanent injunction from making using, selling, distributing, advertising, exporting, offering for sale or dealing in Sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate or any other salt of Sitagliptin in any form, alone, or in combination with any other drug, thereby infringing patent of plaintiff (Merck Sharp and Dohme). . . .

I should mention, in passing, that MSD sells its branded products in India for about one-fifth of the US price — and the generic will be about a third less than that, in country. [See our earlier pharma pricing discussions, in comments.] Onward, then — with so very much to be grateful about. So much — Happy Birthday, Tim & Pete!

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