Teva is battling generic versions of the 20 mg and 40 mg dosages of its MS blockbuster.
In the absence of generic competition to its multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) feels free to raise the price of the drug once more. At any rate, this is what emerges from a survey published at the end of last week by UBS analyst Marc Goodman. According to him, Teva raised the price of Copaxone by 9.9% at the end of August. In the past, Teva has hiked the price of Copaxone more sharply. In early 2012, for example, it raised the price by 15%, and in early 2103 by another 10%.
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Copaxone is Teva’s highest selling and most profitable drug. In the first half of 2014, Copaxone sales totaled some $2 billion, down 5.8% on the corresponding period in 2013. A the end of May, the patent protecting the drug in the US in its regular 20 mg dosage expired, and in recent months Teva has been busy transferring patients to the double dose administered three times weekly instead of daily. This is part of the company’s efforts to combat the possibility of generic competition to Copaxone, although so far the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has still not approved any generic version for marketing.
Meanwhile, Teva is having to fight a legal battle against potential generic competition to double-dose Copaxone as well. After Indian company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories announced a few weeks ago that it was developing a generic version of the drug, and challenging the patent that protects 40 mg Copaxone, two other companies have announced similar moves in the past few days. The companies in question are Mylan and Momenta, both of which have also developed generic versions of 20 mg Copaxone, and await approval to sell these versions. At this stage, it is not known which of the two filed its application with the FDA first and might gain exclusivity in selling the generic version.
Teva is traded in New York and Tel Aviv, at a market cap of $44.8 billion.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com