AstraZeneca to halt sales of breast cancer drug Nolvadex

AstraZeneca will stop selling its breast cancer drug Nolvadex (tamoxifen) by the end of June, according to a letter posted on the FDA’s Web site this week. “As you know, currently there are numerous companies that manufacture generic tamoxifen in the United States and as a result, the request for brand name Nolvadex have dwindled steadily over the last year,” AstraZeneca said in the letter, directed to healthcare professionals. “It is solely for this reason that AstraZeneca has decided to cease manufacturing of Nolvadex.” Global sales of Nolvadex in 2005 were at $114 million, down from $134 million in 2004. Nolvadex was first approved in 1977. Since then other companies, including Barr Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceuticals, have been allowed to sell generic versions of the drug.