Since Bristol Myers Squibb acquired Celgene and its megablockbuster Revlimid, it has girded for the day the multiple myeloma superstar would face generics. In many European countries, that day is here.
On Friday, Novartis' Sandoz revealed that it has launched its generic version of the medicine in 19 countries in Europe. German generics maker Stada Arzneimittel also has launched its Revlimid generic in Europe, according to reports.
Lenalidomide will provide cost savings for patients, Sandoz said, expanding treatment options for those with multiple myeloma, previously treated follicular lymphoma or relapsed or refractory mantel cell lymphoma patients.
Sandoz, the global generics division of Novartis, is the largest generics producer in Europe. The division of the Swiss pharma giant accounted for $9.8 billion in worldwide sales last year.
Last September, Sandoz launched its generic lenalidomide in Canada. Meanwhile, the first Revlimid generics are scheduled to reach the huge United States market next month.
The drug generated $12.8 billion for BMS last year, the company recently reported. With the flood of incoming competition, BMS expects sales of Revlimid to drop to between $9.5 billion and $10 billion this year.
Since Revlimid was originally approved in 2006, Celgene worked hard to stave off competition through court battles and settlements.
In certain smaller European markets, Alvogen managed to launch its Revlimid generic back in 2019.