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FDA approves Teva’s Sabril generic version; says making generic drugs competitive is key part to reduce drug cost

Announcing the approval of Teva’s Sabril generic tablets, FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb said that prioritizing the approval of generic drugs to compete with medicines that face little or no competition is the Agency’s key part of efforts to support access and reduce drug costs to patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tablets to Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, as the first generic version of Lundbeck’s Sabril (vigabatrin) 500 mg tablets for treating complex partial seizures, also called focal seizures, as an adjunctive therapy (given with another primary treatment) in patients 10 years and older who have responded inadequately to several alternative (refractory) treatments.

“The availability of high-quality generic alternatives of critically important medicines, once the period of patent protection or exclusivity has ended on the brand drug, helps advance access and saves consumers billions of dollars each year,” he said.

Gottlieb noted that the FDA has earlier highlighted this drug, along with many others, on a list of off-patent, off-exclusivity branded drugs without approved generics, to clarify that there were no patents or exclusivities that should impede its approval.

“Today’s action demonstrates that there is an open pathway to approving products like this one. We’re especially focused on new policies aimed at making the generic review process more predictable, efficient and lower cost so we can entice more generic firms to enter this space, and help facilitate more generic drug launches after generic approvals. We know it’s not enough just to approve a record number of generic medicines. We also want to see firms launch these products so that patients can benefit from their availability, and we intend to take steps to advance these goals,” he said.

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