GSK's Avodart goes off patent in Korea, generics rise to challenge

Drugmakers in South Korea are moving in to take market share from GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), which saw its prostatic hyperplasia and hair loss medication treatment Avodart (dutasteride) go completely off-patent.

The drug is used to treat both conditions and GSK was able to stave off competition previously because it held a separate patent for each treatment. The patent on the treatment for the prostate condition actually expired in 2015 while the hair loss patent expired last week.

The country's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said 35 generic versions of Avodart have been approved for sales in the country with generics made by Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Daewoong Pharmaceutical and Dong-A ST leading the list.

Avodart is currently priced at about 927 won ($0.77) per capsule and generic makers are moving in with lower prices. JW Pharmaceutical is selling its treatment at 700 won, Hanmi is selling its treatment for 756 won and Chong Kun Dang Pharm's is priced at 840 won per capsule, according to a report in the Korea Herald.

The report also said GSK has teamed up with Teva-Handok Pharma to sell its own generic version of Avodart and will manufacture it at the same plant where the original drug is made.

- here's the report from the Korea Herald