Leading Generics Companies Combine Quality with Savings

Wendy K. Bodine, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Sunday, July 1, 2007

Three of the top US corporations working to fill the need for more generic medicines are Sandoz, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd, and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Sandoz: Expanding Global Reach
Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis International AG (Switzerland), is emerging as a global leader in generic offerings. The company develops, produces, and markets high-quality, low-cost medicines, as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances. Sandoz currently provides >840 compounds in >5000 forms worldwide. The main product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medications, cardiovascular treatments, and hormone therapies.

Over the past few years, Sandoz has made several key acquisitions, including Germany's Hexal and the American company Eon Laboratories. In May 2003, Novartis brought all 14 of its generic companies under the Sandoz banner to fortify recognition of that name in the health care community.

Sandoz has developed a comprehensive worldwide production and development network that boasts competence centers in all major markets. By June of this year, the company had released 10 new products in such therapeutic areas as hypertension, bacterial infections, skin disorders, insomnia, depression, heart arrhythmias, and growth hormone deficiency. Last year, Sandoz launched 22 new products in the United States, and the company currently has >750 products in its global pipeline.

Teva: A David Becomes a Goliath
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd was founded in Jerusalem, Israel, as a small wholesale drug distributor. It has since grown into one of the major players in the generic pharmaceutical market. The company specializes in the development, production, and marketing of generic and proprietary branded pharmaceuticals, as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Teva markets products for a wide range of therapeutic areas, including analgesics, anti-infectives, cardiovascular medications, oncology drugs, central nervous system disorder therapies, dermatology products, and anti-inflammatories. The company is one of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Teva's sales in 2006 totaled $8.4 billion, 80% of which were in North America and Europe.

In 1976, 3 companies merged into the modern Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA began as Lemmon Pharmacal Co in 1945, and in 1991 it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Teva. The acquisitions of Sicor in 2004 and Ivax Corp in 2006 provided Teva with broader geographic reach and significant increases in operations in branded generic markets.

Over the past 3 years, Teva has launched >70 generic products. As of April 2007, Teva's pipeline included 151 abbreviated new drug applications, totaling >$90 billion in total branded sales.

Watson: Meeting Niche Needs
Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc is a diversified company that develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes quality generic medicines. Founded in 1984 and based in Corona, Calif, Watson markets brand products in 3 core areas: specialty products, urology, and nephrology. Its generic product line is one of the broadest in the industry, with more than 150 product families. Watson launched 13 new products and generated $1.5 billion in generics revenue during 2006.

Watson's portfolio includes products developed within the company, self-licensed products, and products distributed for third parties. Watson is the third largest supplier of generic pharmaceutical products in the United States.

The recent acquisition of Andrx Corp further enhances Watson's unique line of pharmaceutical products. As part of this acquisition, Watson also acquired Anda, which reinforces Watson's distribution network.

Key therapeutic areas include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, depression products, hypertension medications, oral contraceptives, pain management drugs, and smoking-cessation products. The company offers one of the broadest generic product lines in the country, and, with 21 new submissions and >70 abbreviated new drug applications pending with the FDA, it has one of the strongest pipelines in the industry.

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