GENERIC OF ALLEGRA TO BE LAUNCHED
Aiming to hang on to some of the highly profitable Allegra market, sanofi-aventis is launching an authorized generic of the allergy drug through Prasco Laboratories.
Ohio-based Prasco will make generic Allegra in 30-, 60-, and 180-mg dosage strengths. The move follows Barr Pharmaceuticals' and Teva Pharmaceutical's at-risk launch of generic Allegra (fexofenadine HCl) in the same three formulations. The two generic firms are embroiled in ongoing patent litigation with sanofi-aventis over rights to the drug.
Barr, Teva and fellow generic drugmaker Impax Laboratories could further cut into sanofi-aventis's Allegra franchise if they elect to pursue an at-risk launch of Allegra-D -- Allegra plus decongestant.
Authorized generics maker Prasco said it believes consumers will prefer the "brand sameness" of its Allegra equivalent to standard generic versions of the drug. "We are optimistic we will capture significant market share," Prasco CEO E. Thomas Arington said.
A Roper survey commissioned by Prasco suggests consumers might prefer the authorized generic. The poll showed 90 percent of respondents wanted to have the option of authorized generics, and 75 percent would be more comfortable taking an authorized than a standard generic.