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Why Ranbaxy's gain from Lipitor deal is short-lived

It's nearly a month since Ranbaxy launched it's generic version of Lipitor after the expiry of Pfizer's patent of the last-selling drug in the world. Firstpost believes it is time to evaluate how the product is doing in the US market, especially since it will enjoy exclusivity for only six months.

In the first three weeks Ranbaxy managed to garner a market share of 32.5 percent of Lipitor prescripton's in the US. Importantly, the company has increased it share over that of Watson, which was selected by Pfizer as a preferred seller for the product to prevent Ranbaxy from getting the lion's share of the market. Pfizer's market share has been reduced to 40 percent after the expiry of patent while the remaining is with Watson.

 Why Ranbaxys gain from Lipitor deal  is short-lived

Reuters

Watson, however, leads in new prescription with a 35.6 percent share as compared to 25.5 percent share for Ranbaxy.

Another trend that has been witnessed post price reduction after Lipitor went generic is the increase in market share of atorvastatin (the bulk drug for branded Lipitor). Atrovastatin has eaten into the market share of other statins (cardiovascular drugs), mainly Simvastatin, the share of which has fallen from 49.6 percent to 43.9 percent, says an HSBC report.

Ranbaxy has only six month to capitalise on the opportunity, which will be thrown open to all players after the first six month of exclusivity expires. Dr. Reddy's along with other generic majors like Teva and Mylan are waiting on the fences with respective approvals to jump in from June 2012, when the doors are thrown open. HSBC expects a price erosion of 90 percent from Lipitor after these three players come in. HSBC has projected sales of $50 million a year for Dr. Reddy from this product once it launches it in the US. Ranbaxy on the other hand is expected to post sales of $500 million during the exclusivity period.

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 16:20:06 IST