Healthcare Business

Is a Generic Nexium Purple Pill for You?

When it comes to drugs being overly advertised, the Purple Pill, or Nexium, has been advertised over and over for years now. Now the question to ask is if a generic version of the Purple Pill is for you. This is not the first time we have seen or heard of generic drug news on Nexium, but now it appears as though another blockbuster drug may have generic competition.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) announced on Monday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first generic equivalent to Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) delayed-release capsules in the United States. While Teva said that it is preparing to launch the product in the near future, the real question is what a generic Nexium really means.

AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) markets Nexium, and its annual sales were said to be a whopping $6 billion in the United States alone.

Monday’s approval is said to be the first generic version of Nexium to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in adults and children ages one and older. Still, this is not the first time news has been out regarding a generic version of Nexium.

In early December, there was news that a U.S. court ruled in favor of AstraZeneca in a Nexium patent dispute over purchasers claiming that they had been overcharged. This was in the wake of a settlement reached in a patent suit with Ranbaxy Laboratories. Even in November, FiercePharma reported that Ranbaxy had filed a federal lawsuit trying to reverse the FDA’s decision to cancel its approvals to make generic versions of AstraZeneca’s Nexium and of Roche’s Valcyte.

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The Purple Pill website shows that Nexium is prescribed to treat the symptoms of acid reflux disease, which is for those with persistent heartburn on two or more days per week. Nexium is also prescribed for many people to heal damage to the esophagus called erosive esophagitis.

Teva’s American depositary shares closed down 1.5% at $59.00 in active trading in New York after the news. AstraZeneca’s shares closed down almost 0.2% at $70.57 in New York trading on Monday.