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Ranbaxy launches cholesterol drug in Europe

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today said it has launched generic versions of tablets, used for treating , in Italy, Sweden Netherlands and Germany.

In accordance with an agreement with , the company has introduced the product ahead of the applicable patent expiries, Ranbaxy said in a statement.

Ranbaxy has launched the generic versions of Atorvastatin tablets in strengths of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg in Italy and Sweden, and in 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg strengths in Netherlands after receiving regulatory approvals, it added.

Pfizer's patent for 'Lipitor' expires on May 8 in Italy and on May 6 in the Netherlands and Sweden. In Germany, the US drugmaker's patent for 'Sortis' ends on May 7.

Ranbaxy's subsidiary -- Basics GmbH has launched Atorvastatin Basics, a generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol lowering drug 'Sortis' in strengths of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg in the German market, it added.

While Lipitor is the registered trade mark of Pfizer in US and other markets, the US firm sells it under the brand name 'Sortis' in Germany.

"Basics' affiliate in Germany, Daiichi Sankyo Deutschland GmbH will assist in the launch. Daiichi Sankyo has a substantial reach among cardiologists and physicians in the German market," Ranbaxy said.

Ranbaxy became a part of the Daiichi Sankyo Group in 2008 after Japan's third largest drug-maker bought a majority stake for Rs 22,000 crore.

Apart from Germany, Daiichi Sankyo and Ranbaxy are working on synergies in countries such as Romania, Italy and Mexico. 

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