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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Drug Firm Threatens Legal Action




 

Toronto Globe and Mail (06/25/92), P. B12

The manufacturer of AZT, Burroughs Wellcome, is threatening to sue Canadian hospitals and pharmacists who distribute a generic copy of its AIDS treatment. Although the generic form has been approved by Ottawa, the legal threat has discouraged potential distributors form purchasing it. Montreal-based Burroughs Wellcome sent letters to more than 7,002 Canadian pharmacists and seven large hospitals cautioning them against dispensing a generic version of AZT, because they would be held liable for violating Burroughs Wellcome's exclusive distribution rights. Burroughs Wellcome President Mark Weedon said the threat of legal action was needed to protect the company's patent rights. The generic AZT is made by Apotex, Inc., which was granted Canadian federal government approval to manufacture the drug last month. Apotex is one of the first companies to manufacture the generic form of AZT, which is being offered at about 30 percent less than the list price of AZT. Elie Betitio, an Apotex spokesman, said sales have been halted by the Burroughs Wellcome letter. But Apotex said in order to get hospitals and pharmacists to buy the generic version, it will pay the cost of any legal action initiated by Burroughs Wellcome.



 


Copyright © 1992 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.



Information in this article was accurate in June 25, 1992. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.