I’d like to share with you a story that was recently posted on the Prescription Access Litigation Blog (http://prescriptionaccess.org/blog/?p=262) entitled “GlaxoSmithKline sets out to dupe migraine sufferers with Treximet smoke and mirrors.”
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) sells a popular brand-name prescription drug for migraines, Imitrex. 2007 U.S. sales of Imitrex were $1.12 billion, making it a “blockbuster” in drug industry parlance. A single pill of Imitrex costs about $25.
Well, $1.12 billion in annual sales is too good to just give up, right? Even if Imitrex’s patent is expiring next February? Not surprisingly, then, Glaxo has done a number of things to keep a generic version of Imitrex (sumatriptan) off the pharmacy shelves:
• Later this year, Glaxo will begin selling an “authorized generic” version of Imitrex. Authorized generics really should be called “fake” generics, because they’re most often not generics at all, but the company’s own pill technically sold by a different company, under a license. In this case, the licensee is Dr. Reddy’s, a generic drug company that originally challenged Glaxo’s Imitrex patent and then settled when Glaxo sued them for patent infringement.
• Also later this year (December 2008), Ranbaxy, another generic drug maker, will also begin selling a generic version of Imitrex. Again, this stems from a settlement between Glaxo and the generic maker.
Great, right? Two generic versions of Imitrex will be available by the end of the year! Huzzah! A victory for patients, right?
Not so fast! You don’t think Glaxo is going to let its billion dollar baby leave home so easily, do you?
Introducing GSK’s Treximet! Treximet was just approved by the FDA for acute treatment of migraines in adults.
Is Treximet a fabulous new breakthrough treatment for migraines?
It is a combination of Imitrex (soon to be available as a generic) and naproxen sodium (commonly known as Aleve, available Over the Counter).
Read the whole story and speak out a the PAL Blog here: http://prescriptionaccess.org/blog/?p=262