GENEVA (AP) — Novartis AG said Friday the European Union has approved its best-selling hypertension drug Diovan for treatment of children aged 6-18.
The Basel, Switzerland-based company says national authorities now have to approve the use of the drug for children with high blood pressure.
Novartis said it will apply for a six-month extension to its product protection on Diovan’s active ingredient valsartan.
Patent protection for Diovan is due to expire in Europe at the end of 2011, followed by the United States and Japan through 2013.
Diovan is by far the company’s biggest selling product. Novartis earlier this week said it sold Diovan worth $1.4 billion during the first quarter.