AstraZeneca's Seroquel going generic quicker

The last week was not good for AstraZeneca profits derived through Seroquel as courts on both sides of the Atlantic said patents giving market exclusivity to the company's top-selling antipsychotic drug were invalid.

AstraZeneca is based in the United Kingdom, but has a big facilities in Wilmington and Newark, Del.

A federal judge in Washington on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by AstraZeneca against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in which the company sought to overturn the FDA's approval of a generic form of the drug. That means the generic version can be sold immediately.

Meanwhile, the High Court in the UK said the Seroquel long-release tablet did not have patent protection in that country. Teva Pharmaceuticals was among the generic companies fighting AstraZeneca in court in that dispute.

Finally, talks between Johnson & Johnson and the state of Arkansas broke down Friday and a court trial started Monday over J&J's promotion of Risperdal, its antipsychotic drug, through Medicaid programs. Tuesday's Inquirer story is here.

That trial is of note to AstraZeneca because it is scheduled for trial in Arkansas later this year over its promotion of Seroquel through the state's Medicaid program.