On Friday, German-based pharmaceutical company Bayer said the European Patent Office (EPO) announced the extension of the company’s patent expiration of the best-selling stroke prevention pill Xarelto (rivaroxaban), according to Reuters.
The EPO, which is a legislative body of the European Union, extended the patent’s expiry date by almost two years.
Bayer said several pharma companies had opposed Xarelto’s patent but the EU executive body extended Bayer’s intellectual property rights until January 2026, per the news outlet.
The EPO’s decision will prevent all EU countries and certain non-EU states, including the United Kingdom and Switzerland, from launching generic rivaroxaban.
The company said in a statement, “Bayer welcomes the positive decision strengthening the patent and will continue to vigorously defend its intellectual property.”
Xarelto made 4.515 billion euros ($5.26 billion) in revenues. And the drug continued to grow in the first half of 2021.
Rivaroxaban is an anticoagulant drug used to treat and prevent blood clots. It prevents the formation of blood clots that are caused by atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) or after hip/knee replacement surgery.
The drug is also used to prevent blood clots from forming in high-risk patients with limited mobility during their hospital stay and after discharge, according to WebMD. Additionally, rivaroxaban is used to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).
Xarelto works by blocking certain clotting proteins in your blood, per WebMD.
In the United States, there is no generic Xarelto available. However, a generic version may become available in the next few years. Medicare covers the cost of Xarelto if you have prescription drug coverage through a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan.