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Merck authorizes generic Fosamax for upcoming patent expiry

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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck has signed a deal for an authorized generic form of its osteoporosis drug Fosamax, to become available after the patents of the drug expires on Feb. 6, according to Reuters.

Merck wouldn’t release the name of the company who will sell the generic version, alendronate sodium. The drug is taken once weekly and works by inhibiting cells that break down bone tissue.

Barr and Teva had planned on launching a generic of the drug at the same time, sharing the 180-day market exclusivity, but now the authorized generic will upset that exclusivity.

Fosamax had global annual sales of about $3 billion, which is expected to go down to $1.85 billion in 2008 and decline even further in 2009 to $800 million.

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