Today, Pharmalot has an item about a dispute between AstraZeneca and Pharmac, New Zealand’s drug buying agency, over a cardiovascular drug called Betaloc.

Pharmac medical director Peter Moodie had this to say about AstraZeneca’s patent tactics — a quotation that could easily apply to numerous other brand name pharmaceutical companies’ manipulation of patents to forestall competition:

“Pharmaceutical suppliers must realise that when a patent runs out, other suppliers will enter the market and it is not acceptable to hold patients to ransom for commercial gain in such an unethical way. It is not acceptable for AstraZeneca to gamble with the lives of acutely ill patients in order to protect itself from competition.”

Full story here.