Supreme Court to Weigh How Soon Firms Can Sell Copycat Biotech Drugs

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to consider a dispute between Novartis AG and Amgen Inc. that could determine how soon cheaper, copycat versions of biotechnology drugs can be sold to consumers.

At issue is whether a lower court was correct when it made Novartis’s Sandoz subsidiary wait an extra 180 days after U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 2015 before it began selling Zarxio, a biosimilar version of Amgen’s Neupogen, a drug used to help cancer patients boost their white blood cell production during chemotherapy.

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