May 25, 2015

Court rules Namenda must be made available to Alzheimer's Patients

In what must be considered a major victory for the Alzheimer's community, a federal court judge has affirmed that

Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT) must continue the distribution of NAMENDA® (memantine HCl) immediate-release tablets.

Court rules on Namenda | Alzheimer's Reading Room

This first formulation of the drug is often refereed to as "old" Namenda. This drug differs from the newer Namenda XR.

Here is the main issue - Namenda (memantine HC1) is scheduled to go generic in July.  Once that happens the price of the drug should fall by about 30 - 50 percent.

And here is the really good news. By February, 2016 the price of the generic version of the drug Memantine should drop by about 90 percent.

Here is how it works.

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When Aricept went generic the price immediately dropped. From $280 to about $153 for a 30 day supply.

After six months, the 6 month exclusion period, the price of Aricept, then selling as the generic Donepezil, fell to less than $10 fora 30 day supply.

Imagine a drup that cost about $3300 a year falling to about $100 a year. Amazing.

From the New York Times:
A federal appeals court in New York ruled on Friday that Actavis cannot withdraw its top-selling Alzheimer’s disease drug from the market in favor of a more expensive extended-release version.

The decision, at the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, is a victory for New York’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, who sued to block the switch, arguing that Actavis was trying to stifle competition from generic drug makers.

A three-judge panel upheld an order in December by Judge Robert W. Sweet of Federal District Court that required Actavis to keep the older drug, Namenda IR, on the market.

Mr. Schneiderman filed an antitrust lawsuit against Actavis last year after the company said it planned to discontinue Namenda IR in favor of Namenda XR. The two drugs have the same active ingredient, memantine, but Namenda XR is taken once daily instead of twice.
Related URLs

Wall Street Journal Blog
FiercePharma

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Bob DeMarco  is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,900 articles and 368,000 links. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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