Sun, Cheminor to benefit from ‘Prozac’ ruling? - Views on News from Equitymaster

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  • Aug 11, 2000 - Sun, Cheminor to benefit from ‘Prozac’ ruling?

Sun, Cheminor to benefit from ‘Prozac’ ruling?

Aug 11, 2000

With the court ruling that Eli Lilly’s ‘Prozac’ (bulk drug: fluoxetine hydrochloride) is to go off patent as early as August 2001 (as against August 2003) the first test of whether the USA generic market is as lucrative as has been made out to be, would be known. ‘Prozac’ is a $ 2.26 bn drug and once the drug goes generic, Eli Lilly can itself be expected to drop the prices of the drug by atleast 50%, if not more. However, this represents a good opportunity for companies such as Sun Pharma and Cheminor Drugs.

Sun Pharma is infact the only domestic company which is present in this segment. It derives 16.5% of its revenues from psychiatric drugs. The company however, refused to disclose whether it had filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for anti–depressants in the USA as the company filing the patent would be its US subsidiary Caraco Industries and disclosure has yet to made to the American shareholders of Caraco.

The other company to benefit would of course be Cheminor Drugs (which is to be amalgamted into Dr. Reddy’s in the current year). Cheminor has reportedly filed for 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg dosages of fluoxetine hydrochloride.

A lot has been been made out about the Indian pharmaceutical companies abilities to tap the US generic market worth post 2003 with almost 36 blockbuster drugs going off patent. The market is estimated to said be worth around $ 32 bn almost five times the size of the domestic market. There have been articles and editorials recently to the effect that the Indian pharma companies have come of age. ‘Prozac’ promises to be an interesting test case.

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