Teva launches generic Effexor XR

JERUSALEM Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has launched the first generic version of a drug used for treating depression and anxiety.

The Israeli drug maker announced Thursday the launch of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, a generic version of Pfizer’s Effexor XR.

Effexor XR had annual sales of around $2.75 billion in the United States, according to IMS Health data. As the first company to file an approval application for a generic version of Effexor XR, Teva will get six months of market exclusivity in which to compete directly with the branded version of the drug.

“Through the current patent settlement process, we are able to launch this product seven years early, thus bringing significant savings to patients and payers and relieving some of the burden of the U.S. healthcare system,” Teva North America president and CEO William Marth said.

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