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Generic competition for Sanofi's Renvela hits UK market

Teva and others launch cheaper versions of the chronic kidney disease drug
Sanofi lobby

Teva UK and a number of other generic companies have launched their versions of Sanofi's Renvela (sevelamer carbonate), following the expiry of the drug's patent in the country.

The treatment is designed to lower phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease and, though never a major blockbuster, the drug has been a consistent strong earner for the firm.

Renvela is a next-generation version of Renagel (sevelamer hydrochloride) and combined global sales for the two medicines reached $861m at their peak in 2012.

According the latest data from the HSCIC, primary care doctors in the NHS in England spent £7.5m on the two drugs in 2013.

In context, this is a middling amount in terms of GP spend: in 2013, GPs spent the most on GSK's respiratory blockbuster drug Seretide (fluticasone/salmeterol), which came in at more than £300m. That was the exception however as most of the drugs, as with Renvela, saw primary care spending in England in the tens of millions.

But now the cost of generic forms of Renvela will be around 80% lower than Sanofi's branded version, which currently costs £177.97 for a 180-pack of 800mg tablets, putting at risk sales of around £6m.

Paul Burden, Director Generics at Teva, said: “We're pleased to be among the first to bring a generic version of this medicine to the UK and to be able to help bring the cost of treating these conditions down, which helps the NHS, patients and payers.”

Article by
Ben Adams

12th February 2015

From: Sales, Marketing, Healthcare

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