AstraZeneca asks for extended market exclusivity for top-selling cholesterol drug

AstraZeneca is expected to lose patent protection for rosuvastatin calcium (Crestor) on July 8, but the New York Times reports that the company argues it should have seven more years of market exclusivity.

AstraZeneca generated $5 billion in sales last year for rosuvastatin calcium, which is intended to lower cholesterol in adults. The drug was prescribed 20.3 million times last year in the U.S., making it the country’s second-most prescribed branded medication.

In May, the FDA approved rosuvastatin calcium for children with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and provided AstraZeneca with market exclusivity for that indication for seven years. The company then asked the FDA for seven more years of exclusivity for all of rosuvastatin calcium’s approved indications.

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