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Battle Over Dementia Drug Swap Has Big Stakes For Drugmakers, Consumers
Kaiser Health News

Executives at drug company Actavis knew they had to move fast to avoid a plunge in sales of their top-selling drug, Namenda, a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease which would lose patent protection in July.

When that happened, generic knockoffs would flood the market and doctors and pharmacists could switch patients to the lower-cost equivalents. With $1.5 billion in annual sales at stake, Actavis took action: Late last year, it touted a new, extended-release version of the drug, called Namada XR, which can be taken once a day and carries patent protection until 2029.