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Richter wants Merck to pay $14.2 mln

Richter Gedeon Rt, eastern Europe's largest drugmaker by market value, said it wants $14.2 million (more than Ft 3 billion) from Merck & Co. after the U.S. company forced it to stop selling an osteoporosis drug, daily Magyar Hírlap reported. Richter had to pull its Sedron medicine in June after Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck sued, saying the treatment violated Merck's patent for osteoporosis drug Fosamax. A Budapest appeals court last month ruled Sedron didn't infringe on Merck's patent in Hungary. "How much we can claim for damages remains to be seen," Richter Chief Executive Officer Erik Bogsch said in an interview today, adding it would be difficult to "quantify how much Merck gained by keeping us at bay." Richter maintains the Sedron ban damaged its reputation and enabled competitors to gain an advantage in the Hungarian market.