NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal court ruling Friday boosted a drug company's efforts to block generic versions of its blockbuster heartburn drug Prilosec.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that three drugmakers infringed on the patents owned by AstraZeneca PLC for the drug.
A fourth drugmaker, KUDco, a unit of Germany's Schwarz Pharma AG, didn't infringe on AstraZeneca's patents, the judge decided. But KUDco doesn't have final Food and Drug Administration approval for its version, so consumers won't see a low-cost generic until next year at the very earliest.
AstraZeneca said the company is reviewing the judge's decision about KUDCo and exploring its options.
"We are very happy. This vindicates our strong belief in our intellectual property," said AstraZeneca spokeswoman Rachel Bloom Baglin.
The decision seems to be a major blow for Andrx Pharmaceuticals Inc. which received FDA approval to market its product and was set to have the market to itself if it had won the case.
Andrx has six months of market exclusivity because it was the first generic approved but it is unclear how that will affect KUDco when it gets its final OK from the FDA.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.