‘This case is about the color purple’: GSK’s suit against Sandoz refuted

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/LightFieldStudios)
(Image: Getty/LightFieldStudios)

Related tags Gsk Sandoz Vectura Asthma Copd

England’s High Court throws out the claim that Sandoz’s inhaler product passed off the appearance of GSK’s rival through its use of the color purple in packaging.

The case relates to GSK’s Seretide Accuhaler (salmeterol and fluticasone) and Seretide Evohaler, Sandoz’s AirFluSal Forspiro, which was licensed from Vectura.

GSK had suggested in its case that the rival product had ‘passed off’ as being connected to, and/or equivalent to, its own product through its ‘get up and packaging’.

Legal proceedings were presided over by, Richard Arnold, who observed​ in his introduction that “this case is about the color purple”​, and that GSK’s case “relied upon the use of purple”​ by the end of the trial.

Both GSK and Sandoz’s products use the color purple in their packaging. Sandoz product was released onto the market as a generic version of GSK’s in 2015, with the original product having been on the market since 1999.

The case against Sandoz and the three other co-defendants, including Aeropharm and Hexal, reached trial after nearly four years and found in favor of the defendants, after the judge concluded that Aeropharm and Hexal could not be found jointly liable.

A spokesperson for Sandoz told us that the decision allows Sando to continue to market its inhaler in the UK.

Tim de Gavre, country head for Sandoz UK, said, “This is a welcome decision that secures access for the NHS and its patients to appropriate medicines that help save money and drive long-term sustainability.”

Sandoz’s product, originally developed by Vectura, is a dry powder inhaler indicated for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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