Launch of the first generic version of Nexium® in Canada, brings billions of dollars of savings to the Canadian Healthcare System

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Apotex Inc., the largest Canadian owned pharmaceutical company, launched today Apo-Esomeprazole, a generic version of AstraZeneca's Nexium®, a gastric proton pump inhibitor (PPI).  With initial launches to the provinces of Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario, Apotex has now released product to the remainder of the Canadian market.  The brand product costs the public and private healthcare budgets close to $300 million per year.

Apotex is the only generic pharmaceutical company to have successfully litigated the Nexium® patents, bringing the first generic alternative to market 8 years prior to all patents expiring. 

With this latest victory, Apotex has led the legal charge to genericize  4 out of 5 major products in the class of gastric PPI molecules - including Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, Lansoprazole and now Esomeprazole. These legal efforts are estimated to deliver a cumulative savings of $6.5 billion to Canada's healthcare system. Also, the above mentioned products are Canadian made from the development, research, to the manufacturing.

"Generic litigant frontrunners such as Apotex play a critical role in maintaining affordability of our healthcare system. Apo-Esomeprazole is yet another example of our commitment to provide patients with affordable, high-quality medicines, despite the potential risks and consequences we often face in bringing these new generic products to market," stated Mr. Jack Kay, Apotex President.

Due to Canada's dual patent litigation system, companies such as Apotex are often faced with years of ongoing litigation with brand companies in order to continue selling generic products.  Such the case with Apo-Esomeprazole, as the brand has initiated a patent infringement action against Apotex over Nexium®.

"The support of Public and Private stakeholders is critical to help fuel our ongoing pursuit to deliver more savings to Canada's healthcare system," concluded Mr. Kay

Apotex has over 6,000 employees in 21 facilities, producing 300 pharmaceuticals that are exported to 115 countries.  It is the top pharmaceutical R&D company in Canada with planned expenditures of $2 billion over the next ten years. Apotex is also the only significant Canadian producer of active pharmaceutical chemicals.

Trademarks are owned by their respective owners.

SOURCE Apotex Inc.

For further information:

Elie Betito
Director, Public & Government Affairs
Apotex Inc.
Tel: 416-749-9300, ext. 7366
Cell: 416-558-5491
Fax: (416) 401-3835
e-mail: ebetito@apotex.com


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