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Pfizer loses appeal in UK patent case over use of Lyrica drug for pain

LONDON Oct 13 Pfizer suffered a setback in Britain on Thursday when the Court of Appeal in London ruled against it in a patent case over the use of its $5 billion-a-year drug Lyrica for pain relief.

Pfizer said it would seek a further appeal.

Lyrica, known generically as pregabalin, was originally developed for epilepsy. However, further research showed it could also help patients suffering from neuropathic pain and most prescriptions are now written for pain.

While the original patent on pregabalin has expired, Pfizer was awarded a secondary patent covering pain, valid until July 2017, and the U.S. drugmaker had been fighting to protect this lucrative section of the market. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Tom Bergin)

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