Allergan braces for $200M sales hit as Namenda generics roll

Earlier this year, Allergan ($AGN) saw its plans to ease the pain from Namenda generics spoiled by a U.S. appeals court. And now, those generics are here.

India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ($RDY) rolled out a copy of the Alzheimer's drug in the U.S. on Sunday, and on Tuesday, Mylan ($MYL) followed suit with its own version. Allergan is now bracing for the $200 million hit to sales it forecasted in April.

That was the reason Allergan drafted its "hard switch" plans, which involved removing Namenda from the market to force patients over to Namenda XR, a new, long-lasting, patent-protected version of the med, before generics arrived. But that plot stirred up its fair share of controversy, and an appeals court in May confirmed a previous ruling striking it down.

Going forward, Allergan is required to keep the original Namenda on the market for 30 days after the generic launch, but after that, the company isn't quite sure what it's going to do with the elder version, a company spokesman told FiercePharma via email. In the meantime, though, it's talking up "sales accelerator" Namzaric--a new product that combines Namenda's active ingredient with that in Eisai's Aricept.

With Namzaric, Allergan will be able to unlock a market segment worth some $2 billion, CEO Brent Saunders said in May--making its market much larger than the new Namenda's. But that doesn't mean the company has taken any focus off that product: In May, it said it had already moved half of Namenda patients over to the IP-shielded version, even without the hard switch.

- read Dr. Reddy's release (PDF)
- read Mylan's release

Special Reports: The top 10 patent losses of 2015 - Namenda | Pharma's top 10 M&A deals of 2014's first half - Actavis/Forest Laboratories