Teva launches competitors to GSK’s Advair inhaler
GSK has been anticipating competition to its Advair for two years and Teva has announced that it will be the first to introduce a competitor, after gaining approval from the FDA in January. Teva will not only launch AirDuo RespiClick, its direct equivalent to Advair, but also a generic version of its own product.
The move to introduce a generic of its own branded inhaler has been seen as a smart move to quickly grab a share of the market place whilst allaying any potential criticism over pricing. AirDuo will cost wholesalers or direct purchasers $285 and the generic version will come in at a reduced price of $90.
The generic version contains the same active ingredients of the branded version, fluticasone propionate and salmeterol, but these will be in reduced quantities. Combined sales of the generic and branded inhalers are predicted to take a quarter of the asthma market currently dominated by GSK.
“With the launch of AirDuo RespiClick and its authorized generic, our intent is to meet the needs of patients, providers, and payers in the U.S. seeking greater access to lower-cost asthma inhaler technology, while also allowing Teva to compete in the highly competitive asthma combination controller market,” said Rob Koremans, President and CEO of Global Specialty Medicines at Teva. “This important launch marks not only the first available generic ICS/LABA product in the U.S., but also the continued expansion of our RespiClick family of products, which now includes breath-activated inhaler options for both maintenance treatment and rescue medication.”
Though the news is by no means positive for GSK, as its Advair product is big drives in sales (it generated $2.35 billion in sales in 2016 alone), it does not represent the biggest threat to its product. The main worry will be when generic versions of Advair finally reach the market, whereupon sales are expected to plummet, by its own prediction, by approximately 45%.
Only last month, GSK received positive news as Mylan’s generic version of the inhaler received a complete response letter. Every month that goes by without generic competition means GSK can reap sales it may not otherwise have managed, though it is simply a matter of time before a generic arrives.