As discussed in this blog, 2006 has been a year in which the patents on many blockbuster brand name drugs have expired here in the U.S. Therefore it is noteworthy when a brand name drug manufacturer beats back a patent challenge. Yesterday, the U.S. Court for the Federal Circuit upheld Eli Lilly's patent on Zyprexa (olanzapine), a top selling anti-psychotic medication, against challenges from the two largest foreign generic drug manufacturers, Teva and Dr. Reddy. According to the Courts, Lilly's patent expires in 2011.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration approved for marketing a new Johnson & Johnson anti-psychotic medication called Invega. Invega reportedly is a new class of drugs to treat schizophrenia which does not cause weight gain and high blood sugar as a side effect, a problem associated with Zyprexa, according to the American Diabetes Association , which has resulted in litigation against Lilly.