Micardis/Micardis HCT, Boehringer Ingelheim

Micardis/Micardis HCT (telmisartan)
Boehringer Ingelheim

Global Sales 2012: $2.217 billion
U.S. Sales 2012: (not reported)
Expiration Date: January 2014

Boehringer Ingelheim won't have much to celebrate as it rings in the new year. Its blockbuster hypertension drug Micardis will be the first drug in the U.S. to have a patent fall. The company has had its ups and downs with this drug. It was among the angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) tied to cancer risks in a 2010 meta-analysis. The FDA absolved ARBs in 2011, but outspoken FDA scientist Thomas Marciniak has been stirring the pot on the subject again recently.

Micardis was also one of four drugs named in Boehringer Ingelheim's settlement with the Department of Justice in 2011. The $95 million the company agreed to pay didn't amount to much by comparison to other marketing cases, but it did put the German drugmaker in the hot seat for promoting the drugs for treatments for which they were not approved--early diabetic kidney disease, in the case of Micardis. The company was also accused of various forms of kickbacks to get doctors to prescribe Micardis, as well as its stroke-prevention drug Aggrenox and the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) drugs Atrovent and Combivent.  

The company is already looking past Micardis. It was mentioned by the company in April as among the drugs that drove its China sales up 32% in 2012. Four months later, when the private company talked about its financial results for the first half of 2013, the Micardis name never came up.

For more:
Special Report: Top 10 Cardio Drugs 2012 - Micardis
Boehringer Ingelheim settles marketing case for just $95M

-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

Micardis/Micardis HCT, Boehringer Ingelheim

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