British Medical Journal: Pregabalin patent litigation and its implications


The British Medical Journal has published two papers co-authored by Darren Smyth on the wide-ranging implications of the patent litigation related to the drug pregabalin.

The first paper explains the arguments over the patent case and its impact for the NHS. In particular, the paper analyses the conflict between generic prescribing as a near-universal practice in the UK, and the policing of second medical use patents. Darren’s co-authors were Ben Goldacre and Richard Croker of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, where Darren is an honorary research fellow.

The second paper focuses on the impact on the prescribing patterns of clinicians before, during, and after the litigation and expiry of the patent, as well as the financial cost to the NHS, and is additionally co-authored by Alex Walker of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine.