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Home Industry News MSD signs generic Fosamax deal

MSD signs generic Fosamax deal

14th January 2008

Merck, Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has signed a deal to make a generic form of Fosamax (alendronate sodium) available to patients when its patent expires on the compound.

The company declined to make public the details of the agreement, but confirmed to Reuters that one was now in place.

MSD has a US patent on the osteoporosis drug that is due to expire on February 6th 2008.

Ron Rogers, a spokesman for the company, said: “”We can confirm an authorised generic deal for Fosamax has been signed, although specific details of the deal are proprietary.”

He added that while the formulation of Fosamax combined with 2,800 units of vitamin D will expire two months after that of the compound itself, the combination product containing 5,600 units of the vitamin will be protected by patent until 2010.

The news agency reports that industry analysts had previously predicted that the emergence of cheaper generic forms of this drug would adversely affect the sales of Fosamax, as well as those of Actonel (risedronate sodium) from Sanofi-Aventis and Procter & Gamble.

In May 2007, MSD responded to claims regarding the incidence of side effects in patients receiving Fosamax published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The company claimed that the five-year fracture intervention trial showed a similar risk of atrial fibrillation in patients receiving the compound and those administered with a placebo.

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