Teva and Sun fined for selling generics before patent expiry

Pfizer and Takeda will share a $2.15 billion (£1.4 billion) settlement after suing generic drugmakers Teva and Sun Pharmaceuticals for patent infringement.

The companies both launched generic versions of proton pump inhibitor Protonix (pantoprazole) while it was still under patent, hoping that they could challenge the patent retrospectively. However, in 2010, a US court upheld the patent and ruled that Teva and Sun had infringed it. The patent was owned by Nycomed, now part of Takeda, and licensed exclusively to Pfizer’s subsidiary, Wyeth, for marketing in the US.