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Watson Wins Right to Sell Generic BuSpar

March 30, 2001|Bloomberg News

Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. won approval to sell generic versions of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s anxiety drug BuSpar after a court order blocked Bristol-Myers from extending patent protection on the drug. The approval by the Food and Drug Administration means Corona-based Watson will get 180 days of exclusive rights to sell 5-milligram and 10-mg dosages of the drug without competition from other generics. Mylan Laboratories Inc. said it won approval to sell a 15-mg dosage of generic BuSpar. BuSpar had sales last year of $709 million. The approvals come after Bristol-Myers, complying with a court order in a lawsuit brought by Mylan, asked the FDA to remove a patent listing on BuSpar from a listing of valid drug patents. Watson and Pittsburgh-based Mylan have been fighting Bristol-Myers in separate lawsuits, trying to get the FDA to remove a new patent on BuSpar that Bristol-Myers listed in November, a day before the main patent on the drug was to expire. Watson said it will introduce its generic version immediately, though it expects no significant impact on earnings this quarter. Watson shares rose $1.26 to close at $53.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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