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Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. added another drug to its list of generic launches as it announced the launch of Vestura, the generic version of Bayer’s (BAYRY - Analyst Report) oral contraceptive, Yaz. Vestura is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy and the treatment of moderate acne in women who are at least 14 years old.

According to IMS Health, the total US sales of Yaz and its generic versions amounted to $510 million for the twelve months ended November 30, 2011.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the company’s abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for Yaz’s generic in November 2011. We note that Watson Pharma and Bayer are currently involved in a patent litigation lawsuit related to this product.

Other Generic Launches…

Watson Pharma has been very active over the last few months with at least one of its generic products hitting the market every month.

Last month, Watson Pharma announced the launch of a generic version of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.‘s (TEVA - Analyst Report) LoSeasonique. The drug is used for the prevention of pregnancy. The launch of the generic drug took place as a part of a settlement agreement between the two companies.

Since Watson Pharma was the first company to file an ANDA for the generic version of LoSeasonique, it got 180-day marketing exclusivity for the generic drug.

Moreover, in November 2011, Watson Pharma announced the launch of an authorized generic version of Pfizer Inc.’s (PFE - Analyst Report) drug, Lipitor. Lipitor is approved for use as an adjunct to diet to reduce elevated total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), triglycerides and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.

According to the supply and distribution agreement, Pfizer will manufacture and supply all dosage strengths of the authorized generic product to Watson Pharma, who, thereafter, will market and distribute the same in the US. In return, Pfizer will receive a share of the net sales from Watson Pharma. The agreement, which runs until November 30, 2016, is expected to add about 48 to 53 cents per share to Watson Pharma’s 2011 earnings.

We expect the new generic product launches over regular intervals to help drive the company’s Global Generic segment’s sales, which climbed 39% to $802.5 million in the third quarter 2011. Additionally, we expect Watson Pharma’s 2011 results to be positively impacted by the sales of its generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ - Analyst Report) Concerta, launched in May 2011.

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