This Would-Be Television Report Is Rather Confused. . . So Take It With A Grain Truckload Of Salt

I am not sure I’d believe all (or even very much) of what is claimed here, especially since within the report itself, a reporter quotes Sun Pharma as denying it. That is, the “source’s” report of a Januvia®/Janumet® license being signed, between MSD India and Sun, for an authorized copycat version of sitagliptin [no phosphate] — may or may not be ficticious.

IF, however, this TV report turns out to be accurate, then it would bolster my speculation of April 16, 2013, that MSD might choose to undercut Glenmark’s generic traction in India (even before the Delhi High Court rules), by allowing Sun to sell an “authorized” cut-rate version of sitagliptin. In short, Merck would cannibalize its own higher margin sales (but share in the lower margin sales made by Sun, in India), all in an effort to prevent Glenmark from garnering the full measure of the generic profits on its sitagliptin phosphate compound. Glenmark’s compound is now on the Indian market, at about 20 cents on the dollar, to Merck’s branded offering.

Again, I am linking to the TV report, just so you may make your own assessment of its relative veracity.

. . . .Merck has now licensed its patents on Januvia to Sun Pharma in India. This was a mandatory procedural requirement, which was missing when Merck and Sun Pharma filed a patent infringement suit against Glenmark on April 1. Now, any company filing a patent suit or becoming party to a patent case needs to have a license for that patent.

But here, Sun Pharma, which was a co-plaintiff in the Januvia patent case, did not have any license for Januvia’s patent. . . .

Or so the TV report claims. For the record, Sun has denied this report. My preliminary assessment is that we will all have to wait for July 15, and the High Court’s hearing, to know for certain — as I would not, and do not, expect any official statement from MSD prior to that time. So, do stay tuned — as Januvia/Janumet is Merck’s single largest franchise, by sales volume, worldwide — now that Singulair has gone generic.

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