Eli Lilly suffers setback in European drug importing case

INDIANAPOLIS Eli Lilly has lost in an attempt to block a British pharmacy from buying supplies of its drugs in Turkey and then selling them to Internet pharmacies in Canada, which then end up in America when patients look for cheaper prices on drugs, according to Reuters.

In November, Lilly won a temporary injunction preventing UK pharmacy 8PM Chemists from shipping drugs from Turkey and then sending them to U.S. patients via Canada. But at appeal, 8PM persuaded the court to overturn that decision, arguing the drugs were shipped in plain brown boxes and never released by customs in Britain.

As a result, they never became ‘Community Goods’ under European law, and members of the public in Britain would never see the trademarks Lilly was fighting to protect. The trademarks at the center of the case were the Lilly name, as well as the drug names Cialis for erectile dysfunction, Evista for osteoporosis, Humulin and Humalog for diabetes.

The court backed 8PM’s argument and decided Lilly’s European trademarks were in no way jeopardized by the trade.

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