Watson launches authorized generic diabetes drug

Launch timed to coincide with relaunch of Lupin generic

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of an authorized generic version of a drug used to lower blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The generic drug maker launched metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets, an authorized generic version of Fortamet, made by Shionogi. An authorized generic is a branded drug marketed under its generic name at a reduced price, usually through a third-party company acting under a collaborative agreement with the original branded manufacturer.

The launch of Watson's product was timed to coincide with the relaunch of a generic version of Fortamet by Lupin. Lupin had received Food and Drug Administration approval for a generic version of the drug in April 2011 and launched it in September of the same year, but in December, Shionogi obtained an injunction that prevented further sales of Lupin's product.

Fortamet had sales of $82 million during the 12-month period ended in February, according to IMS Health.


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