Diovan competition is coming

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Generic Diovan is coming. The Wall Street Journal reports that generics drugmaker Ranbaxy has scored an FDA approval to manufacture an off-brand version of the blood pressure medication. The drug will be manufactured at a US facility—the FDA has banned items from its facilities in India.

The approval's significance signals the end of a Novartis honeymoon: Ranbaxy held exclusive rights to deliver the first generic Diovan, and its inability to get an approval meant the branded drug sold without a competitively priced alternative even though the patent had lapsed. It also meant generics makers other than Ranbaxy were blocked from producing generic Diovan until Ranbaxy rolled out its iteration.

Bloomberg estimated in April that the lack of generic competition cost consumers around $900 million in savings.

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