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Teva launches first generic versions of Seroquel in UK

Comes days after AstraZeneca loses high court battle over Seroquel XR patent

Teva Pharmaceutical has launched the first generic version of AstraZeneca's (AZ) Seroquel (quetiapine) in the UK on the day the antipsychotic loses its patent exclusivity.

Copies of both standard Seroquel and Seroquel XR, an extended release version of the drug, will be available for use in the NHS at lower costs than AZ's branded products.

The generic cost of a 25mg dose of regular quetiapine will be £6.08, compared to £30.50 for AZ's product. The price difference is less pronounced for the extended release formula, however, with Teva offering a 50mg dose for £50.75 compare to AZ's price of £67.66.

The NHS in England currently spends about £90m a year on the drug so the availability of lower price generic versions is likely to save it millions of pounds.

Generic Seroquel is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and moderate to severe manic episodes, while generic Seroquel XR is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and as an add-on treatment for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

AZ had attempted to protect its marketing exclusivity for the franchise, which is one of its biggest-selling drugs, by applying for patent protection of the Seroquel XR formula until 2017.

However, this application was rejected by the UK high court, allowing Teva to launch its own version.

This decision only applies to the UK, with AZ recently winning a court decision validating the Seroquel XR formula in the Netherlands. Decisions are still pending for concluded cases in the US and Spain.

Kim Innes, Teva's commercial director, said: “With the launch of quetiapine and quetiapine XL, we're making more medicines accessible for more people

“It adds to what is the UK's widest portfolio of medicines, with over 700 products. But, importantly launches like these help towards saving the NHS over £9bn on generic prescriptions.”

28th March 2012

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