A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Notification dates, (co)exclusivity, similar drugs, orphans and the FDA: a comment

Further to Marc Nevant's observations, posted on The SPC Blog yesterday (here), Mike Snodin -- whose article Marc cited -- has added some further comments of his own. Says Mike:
The EMA’s reliance upon the Notification Date for calculating periods (data exclusivity and orphan market exclusivity) running from the date of a MA is confirmed in the answer to question 12 in “EMA Procedural advice for users of the centralised procedure for generic/hybrid applications” (see this link).

The EMA’s practice on this point was the basis of one of the arguments in my article from October 2011. The legal basis for that practice is Article 297(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which is a point noted in my article from October 2014.

The decision in T-140/12 is fascinating, as it appears to mean that the (co-)exclusivity awarded to one product can effectively extend the period of (co-)exclusivity on the market for another, “similar” product. In this respect, that decision is similar to that in Depomed Inc. v U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al., Case No. 1:12-cv-01592, where orphan exclusivity was awarded to a non-identical drug in circumstances where “clinical superiority” of that drug had not been demonstrated over an already approved, “similar” drug.

The FDA does not appear to be inclined to follow the ruling in Depomed (see this link), and so it will be very interesting to see what Teva does in respect of the ruling in T140/12 – and whether the CJEU will eventually get to rule on this aspect of orphan marketing exclusivities.
Thanks, Mike!

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