Generics makers anticipate Obama boon

Already generics makers are crowing about a potential boost from an Obama administration. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries CEO Shlomo Yanai told Reuters yesterday that the new president can only help his company, which is the largest maker of copycat meds in the world. And election night, Barr Pharmaceuticals CEO Bruce Downey said he expects the next four years to be a "positive environment" for generics.

Why? Well, in a video interview excerpted by Wall Street Nation, Downey said President-elect Obama is very "pro-generic." He supports generic substitution for branded drugs. He supports legislation that would create a pathway for generic biologics. And he supports strengthening the FDA's generics office, which has come under criticism for allowing generic apps to stack up. Plus, Obama's health plan--if it gets anywhere in this economic crisis--would expand health insurance coverage, boosting drugmakers. "For us, more insurance coverage equals more sales," Downey pointed out.

As you know, Barr is in the process of being acquired by Teva. And as if to emphasize their CEOs' words, both companies reported sales growth today. Teva posted a 21 percent increase in profits to $637 million on a 20 percent rise in revenues to $2.84 billion. Part of that big growth came from a branded drug, Teva's multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone. Barr announced that sales jumped to $737 million from $602 million, beating analysts' estimates. Adjusted earnings grew to 83 cents a share from 71 cents.

Teva's report on FDA apps also underscored Downey's comments about the agency: The Israel-based company has 145 generics drug apps cooling their heels at FDA, awaiting regulatory approval.

- see the Downey interview at Wall Street Nation
- check out Teva's earnings
- here are Barr's results