Barr Laboratories is seeking to intervene in Zeneca Inc.'s federal lawsuit that charges Eli Lilly with promoting Evista for reducing the risk of breast cancer. Barr's motion to have full status as a plaintiff-intervenor in the case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In February, Zeneca filed a federal suit charging Lilly with false and misleading promotion of Evista for breast cancer, when it has been approved only for prevention of osteoporosis. Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate), which was patented by Zeneca, is the only drug proven effective for that indication.
Currently, four out of every five patients in the United States use the Tamoxifen Citrate distributed by Barr, the company said, noting in its motion that "Barr's damages from Lilly's alleged conduct are equal to, if not greater, than Zeneca's." A hearing on the case is scheduled for May 17. In March, the Food and Drug Administration granted Barr's citizen petition clarifying that the company will have 180 days of market exclusivity for its generic version of Tamoxifen Citrate when the brand patent expires.
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