Company news: Forest

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Generic Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) took a hefty bite out of Forest Laboratories fourth-quarter sales which fell 9% to $997 million, compared to $1 billion for the same period last year (Forest's fiscal year ended March 31). Sales for the company's anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drug Lexapro tanked 40% to $356 million for the fiscal fourth quarter, compared to $595 million for the same period last year. Despite the changeover, the generic version provided $17 million worth of ballast, the result of distribution agreement with Mylan, which makes it. Products with an upward curve included blood-pressure drug Bystolic, which saws sales reach $97 million during the quarter, up 33% compared with the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011. Sales for Alzheimer's drug Namenda rose 20%, to $391 million compared to the same period last year. The company said it also upped its SG&A expenses 17% for the quarter, to $411 million, compared to $352 million. Forest said the increase was part of its sales and marketing support for the following drugs: antibiotic Teflaro (ceftaroline fosamil), COPD treatment Daliresp (roflumilast) and major depressive disorder treatment Viibryd (vilazodone HCI).

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