Damages Amount to $2.1 Billion for Teva Pharmaceuticals
Two billion dollars is a hefty price to pay for manufacturing generic copies of a drug patented by a pharmaceutical company in the U.S., but Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. is fighting allegations and may have to foot the bill.
The Israeli company is accused of selling generic copies of Protonix, Pfizer Inc.’s wide selling heartburn medication, before its U.S. patent exclusivity expired in 2011. To cover potential losses, Teva has already booked a $670 million provision for the third quarter of last year.
On Tuesday an annual report Teva filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it estimates the "ultimate resolution of this matter could result in a loss of up to $1.4 billion in excess of the amount accrued."
A June trial is scheduled to investigate Pfizer’s claim for damages in federal court in New Jersey while Teva is moving forward with plans to challenge the court’s decision upholding the validity of the patent protecting rights to Pfizer’s drug.
"We intend to seek full compensation for the damages caused by Teva's and Sun's infringement of the patent" covering Protonix, Pfizer spokesman Christopher Loder said in a statement. "We look forward to fully addressing all arguments in court during the damages trial."
If Teva is forced to pay damages in full, it will constitute one of the largest amounts relating to the release of an “at-risk” generic drug before litigation pertaining the braded drug’s patent was resolved.