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Teva launches generic Seroquel in UK

Published on 27/03/12 at 09:52am
Quetiapine image

Teva has launched a generic version of the antipsychotic Seroquel on the same day AstraZeneca loses patent protection on its drug. 

The generic forms of Seroquel (quetiapine) and the prolonged release Sondate XL (quietiapine XL) are now available in the UK for the first time. 

The former is indicated for schizophrenia and the treatment of moderate to severe manic episodes, while the XL version is approved for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and add-on treatment for patients with major depressive disorder who have not responsed to antidepressant monotherapy.

The 300mg high dose of Seroquel currently costs £170, but Teva will charge just £25.50 for the same dosage of its generic.  

The price difference for Quetiapine XL is much more narrow, with the high dose 400mg generic costing £169.65, and AstraZeneca’s branded price being only slightly higher at £226.20.

The NHS in England spent £93 million on Seroquel in 2010 - the second highest spending on any antipsychotic.

The NHS and can now look forward to significant savings from generic quetiapine tablets over the coming years.

AsraZeneca's patent loss comes one year after Lilly lost protection on its antipsychotic Zyprexa (olanzapine) in the UK.

The NHS in England spent £114 million on the drug in 2010, the highest spending on any antipsychotic in the country. 

Kim Innes, commercial director at Teva, said: “With the launch of Quetiapine and Quetiapine XL, we’re making more medicines accessible for more people.” 

She added that Teva has now launched ten new products in the past 11 weeks, including seven on day one of patent expiry. 

This includes its generic version of Pfizer and Eisai’s Alzheimer’s drug Aricept (donepezil), which was launched in the UK last month.  

The Seroquel brand is AstraZeneca’s second-best seller behind cholesterol drug Crestor, and accounted for 17% of the company’s $33.6 billion worth of sales last year. 

Losing patent protection will be a big blow to the global sales of the firm, and will be particularly painful for its UK business.

Ben Adams 

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