Eli Lilly has requested a temporary block on sales of generic versions of its attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Strattera in the US while it appeals against last week’s patent ruling.

The Indianapolis-based drugmaker has filed a motion in the US District Court in New Jersey asking for a temporary injunction on generic sales of Strattera (atomoxetine), and, if this is denied, that generic manufacturers are ordered not to roll out their copycat versions while the firm appeals the denial on a Federal level, according to media reports.

Last week, Lilly was dealt a massive blow after the New Jersey court ruled that the firm’s '590, or method-of-use, patent on Strattera is invalid, opening the door to generic versions far sooner than expected, and posing a significant threat to sales of the drug which topped $142 million in the second quarter.

Following the ruling, Lilly’s chief executive John Lechleiter said that generic competition to Stratters in the USA “will undoubtedly add to the challenges we will face during upcoming patent expirations on other key products”, but added that the company is taking action to address these issues “including lowering our cost structure by at least $1 billion by the end of 2011 and reducing our full-time workforce”.