Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) has decided not to market Atorvastatin, the generic version of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor. According to a report from the "Economic Times of India", Teva has instead decided that it will help Indian companies Ranbaxy Laboratories and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories capture a larger market share of the drug in the US.
Teva Americas CEO William Marth said, "We've made a really hard choice on not launching Atorvastatin and the reason we came to that decision was, when we looked at our product, we only had it in the 30-tablet bottle."
Teva added that the decision was part of the company's strategy to optimize resources as Atorvastatin would have taken up a major part of its API and oral dosage facility. The company also said that the market for generic Lipitor is more crowded than it had expected, with eight companies planning generic versions of Lipitor. The drug's patent expired last November. Lipitor has annual sales of $13 billion.
Ranbaxy and Watson Pharmaceuticals currently sell generic versions of Lipitor along with Pfizer.
Marth added, "It's a tough decision, a hard decision not to launch at this time. That doesn't mean that sometime in the future we may launch atorvastatin,"
He forecast that the decision not to launch certain products such as Atorvastatin and Simvastatin will cost the firm about $150 million.
Ranbaxy has earned $600 million from Atorvastatin during the 180-day exclusivity period given it by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The 180 days ends today, opening up the market for other players including Mylan, Dr Reddy's, Aurobindo Pharma and Actavis Group.
Teva has already earned $300 million as part of an agreement with Ranbaxy in November.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 29, 2012
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