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Judge Rules Drug Maker Can’t Shelve Old Pill | NYTimes.com

ph.logo.sublogos.news.white-ARTICLEA federal judge has decided to block for now an attempt by the drug company Actavis to halt sales of an older form of its Alzheimer’s disease drug Namenda in favor of a newer version with a longer patent life.

The decision, issued Thursday, represents a victory for New York’s attorney general, who had filed an antitrust lawsuit against Actavis in September, accusing the company of forcing patients to switch to the newer version of the widely used medicine to thwart competition from generic manufacturers.

“Our lawsuit against Actavis sends a clear message: Drug companies cannot illegally prioritize profits over patients,” the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, said in a statement Thursday.

The decision was made by Judge Robert W. Sweet in Federal District Court in Manhattan but was sealed because it contained confidential information. Both the attorney general and Actavis, however, confirmed that the judge had issued a preliminary injunction that would stop Actavis from discontinuing sales of the older Namenda while the case is being decided.

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Judge Rules Drug Maker Can’t Shelve Old Pill.

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