Novartis has given an update in the case involving generic competition to its hypertension treatment Lotrel, noting that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries cannot ship any more of its version of the drug for at least another week.

US District Judge Harold Ackerman in Newark, New Jersey has extended a previous halt on new sales before making a ruling next week on whether Teva will be prevented from selling generic Lotrel (almodipine/benazepril) until a trial on the validity of Novartis’ patent on the drug. This chain of events was set off by the Israeli firm beginning to sell its version of Lotrel after getting US Food and Drug Administration approval on May 18, but the following day, Novartis secured a temporary restraining order.

Nevertheless, Judge Ackerman once again rejected Novartis' bid to force a recall of all Teva's generic Lotrel and it is thought that the latter firm managed to ship three months' supply of the drug in one day. Last week, the Swiss drug major said that it is evaluating the potential financial impact that Teva's generic version will have on earnings.