ASTRAZENECA AND PAR SIGN AUTHORIZED GENERIC DEAL

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

AstraZeneca has entered into a new supply and distributionagreement with Par Pharmaceutical to distributean authorized generic version of metoprolol succinate inthe United States. Under the arrangement, AstraZenecawill continue to market its branded version of metoprololsuccinate, Toprol-XL, throughout the United States.

At least initially, the generic version will be availableonly in the 25-mg dosage—a strength that represents anestimated 20% of AstraZeneca's Toprol-XL sales in theUnited States. The agreement between AstraZeneca andPar was announced on the heels of the US launch of a 25-mg version of metoprolol succinate by Sandoz'Eon Labs.

Although patent protection for Toprol-XL does notexpire until September 2007, a federal district courtdeclared that patent invalid last year, a ruling that pavedthe way for Eon's generic version.