By Phil Milford/ Bloomberg
Wilmington: Merck & Co., the third-largest U.S. drugmaker, accused India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd in a lawsuit of infringing a patent with its plans to market a generic copy of the antibiotic Primaxin I.M.
Ranbaxy, India’s biggest drugmaker, applied to the U.S. Food and Drug administration to sell its version of the injectable medicine before Merck’s patent expires in 2009, according to a complaint filed on 1 May in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.
“Defendants have the capacity to begin marketing and manufacturing” the drug “immediately upon receiving regulatory approval,” Merck said in the lawsuit, which asks a judge for an order prohibiting sales during the term of its patent.
Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, reported $705 million (Rs2,903 crore) in Primaxin sales for 2006. Last month, the company said its profit rose 12% in the first quarter as demand for asthma, cholesterol and cancer drugs made up for losses caused by generic competition.