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Teva to Sell Generic Viagra in 2017 in Pfizer Settlement

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Generic Viagra will hit the U.S. market more than two years earlier than had been anticipated under a settlement reached by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and the maker of the impotence drug, Pfizer Inc.

Teva can enter the market on Dec. 11, 2017, and will pay patent royalties through the expiration of the Viagra patent in April 2020, New York-based Pfizer said in a statement. Other settlement terms weren’t disclosed.

Viagra, whose chemical name is sildenafil citrate, is one of Pfizer’s best-known medicines. Sales of the drug totaled $2.05 billion in 2012, the most ever. Pfizer earlier this year began selling the blue pill through a company-sponsored website to combat counterfeit versions sold online.

The medicine came from a group of compounds considered during research to treat high blood pressure and angina. The assistance with erectile dysfunction was a side effect discovered during testing, and the patent, issued in 2002, is for use of the compound to treat impotence.

Some aspects of the patent were earlier rejected in 2010 because it was similar to a Chinese herb known as Horny Goat Weed. Teva lost its bid to invalidate the rest of the patent at trial, and was appealing the case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today dismissed the appeals.

Teva, which has tentative U.S. regulatory approval to sell the generic drug, began selling copies in some European countries in June.

Teva, based in Petach Tikva, Israel, rose 12 cents to $39.84 at 4:15 p.m. in New York trading. Pfizer fell 11 cents to $30.14.

To contact the reporters on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net; Drew Armstrong in New York at darmstrong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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