The EU has extended Pfizer’s exclusive rights to sell cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor until May 2012 in a deal that could earn it $800m.
The US pharmaceutical company will, in exchange, provide a modified form of the drug to a few thousand children, reports the Financial Times.
In November, Pfizer will launch a chewable, grape-flavoured, low-dose version of Lipitor in the EU, the same time its patents were due to expire.
Pfizer has sought a supplementary protection certificate in most EU countries, extending its monopoly over supplies and pricing of Lipitor.
Lipitor is primarily prescribed to adults with high levels of cholesterol, but is also given to a small number of children who have an inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia, estimated to affect one in every 500 caucasians.