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Teva to distribute generic Lipitor

Israeli giant's collaboration with Indian pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy will allow Teva to market world's best selling drug exclusively until 2012. Projected earnings: $1.5B

Snir Handler, Calcalist
Published: 11.03.11, 14:27 / Israel Business

Israeli-based pharmaceutical company Teva will reportedly be able to exclusively distribute its version of the cholesterol-lowering medicine Lipitor as of late November due to its collaboration with Indian pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy - which holds a 180-day permit to distribute the generic drug, Calcalist learned.

 

According to Calcalist, once the original drug's patent expires on November 30, Teva will be able to manufacture the drung and be its sole distributer.   

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This past June the American multi-national pharmaceutical giant Pfizer was surprised to learn that Teva had launched a generic version of its cholesterol-lowering medicine Lipitor. The United States-based company immidiatly filed an injunction against the distribution of the knock-off drug and won.

 

Teva was therefore ordered to make do with selling the drug only to Canadian pharmacies – a one billion dollar market for this branded medicine. Just for comparison, Lipitor sales in the US hit a staggering $5.8 billion in 2010.

 

Teva's investors were said to have been biding their time until May 2012, when the company was said to begin distributing its own line of the generic drug.

 

High profit forcast

Ranbaxy would have preferred to be the sole distributor of the drug, but manufacturing problems in its India facility prevent it from doing so.

 

Furthermore, Teva's aggressive marketing channels and its economy of scale, being the largest generic drug manufacturer in the US, will enable Ranbaxy to maximize is earning from the sale of the drug.

 

Pfizer is already gearing up for the expiration date of its flagship drug, cutting Lipitor's price by 70%, causing Teva to lower prices on its generic version by 15%-25%.

 

According to Teva's profit forecast, the generic drug is expected to earn Teva $200-300 million by the first month and about $1.5 billion in the first six months. Given this positive financial outlook, Teva is expected to make a handsome profit of up to $300 million until May 2012, making it possible for the company to meet its Q4 forecasts.



 

Teva was unavailable for comment.

 

  • Click here to read this report in Hebrew

 

 

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