Changes are coming to the drug industry, at least for 2 pharmaceutical companies and the antidepressant industry. Drug regulators have now approved Teva Pharmaceuticals to sell a a generic version of the popular antidepressant, Lexapro, in the United States. The medicine, known as Escitalopram, was originally made by Forest Laboratories Inc. It treats depression and general anxiety disorder in adults.
Mylan Inc. announced in February that it reached an agreement with Forest to sell an “authorized generic” version of Lexapro in the United States.
Lexapro is indicated for the acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder and acute treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Lexapro sales will be impacted significantly with the entry of Teva’s generic version. The product accounted for 55% of Forest Labs’ total sales in fiscal 2011, and was Forest Labs’ biggest seller last year, generating U.S. sales of $2.9 billion, according to IMS Health. Analysts expect the company to lose about a quarter of its revenue now that generic versions of the drug are available.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries/IVAX Pharmaceuticals gained FDA approval to market generic escitalopram in 5 milligram, 10 mg, and 20 mg strengths.