Appeals court refuses to halt court order blocking switch of patented Alzheimer's drugs

Associated Press

A federal appeals court has left intact a judge's order for drug manufacturer Actavis PLC to keep distributing its widely used Alzheimer's medication.

However, the Second Circuit has set an expedited schedule for the appeal by the company, which wants a ruling by Feb. 16 on whether it can stop distributing Namenda.

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who sought the court order, alleges anti-trust and state law violations by Actavis in an effort to push patients to its new patented drug and avoid losses from cheaper generic alternatives.

Actavis says its new drug Namenda XR — taken once daily instead of twice — is better and demand is growing.

The judge last month told Dublin-based Actavis to continue making the older drug available through July, when generics become available.