March 30, 2007

Antitrust regulators are examining agreements between Cephalon Inc, maker of the alertness promoting drug Provigil (modafinil), and generic drug manufacturers, according to a Bloomberg News report. The investigation involves patent agreements that Cephalon has made with generic drug makers to try to delay competition from generic modafinil pills.

“The subpoena marks the second time the commission has requested additional information on patent settlements that postpone sales of low-cost versions of Provigil until 2012,” according to the Bloomberg News report. “Cephalon is trying to hold on to sales of the drug, which rose 42% to $727.9 million for 2006, while developing a new version called Nuvigil.”

Currently, Provigil is the only FDA-approved treatment for excessive sleepiness due to shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), obstructive sleep apnea, and narcolepsy. For more information about Provigil and Cephalon, visit the company’s Web site.

—Franklin A. Holman