Teva offers support to pharmacies over atorvastatin

 Teva has issued a letter to UK pharmacies promising to provide legal support to any facing legal action over dispensing its generic drug atorvastatin.

As part of the ongoing legal battle between Teva and Pfizer, the generics company is currently banned from providing its version of Pfizer’s Lipitor until a full hearing on 11 July.

The temporary injunction also prevents two other generic companies, AAH and Phoenix, from providing generic versions of the drug. Pharmacies are permitted to dispense their current stock of generic atorvastatin, though The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has advised its members to return the stock if possible.

Pfizer is pursuing the case to protect its supplementary protection certificate (SPC) patent for atorvastatin, currently valid until November. The company has also applied for a six-month paediatric extension to the SPC.

At a hearing on 27 June Pfizer failed to obtain an injunction against Rowlands Pharmacy for providing the drug and it was confirmed that Teva is permitted to offer legal assistance to any other pharmacies caught up in the case.

The letter stated: “We feel strongly that we are acting in the interests of sustainable and affordable healthcare delivered via the pharmacy, and we will do our utmost to support our customers.”