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FDA approves Novartis hypertension drugs


WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has approved Novartis’ drugs Diovan HCT and Exforge as initial therapies for hypertension, according to published reports.

Exforge, a combination of Novartis' Diovan hypertension pill and Pifzer’s high blood pressure treatment Norvasc, generated $173 million in sales in the second quarter of this year. Diovan and Diovan HCT, a single-pill combination of Diovan and hydrochlorothiazide -- a drug that helps reduce the amount of water in the body -- had second quarter sales of $1.5 billion.

Novartis hopes these two drugs will help offset sales when Diovan loses patent protection in the next couple of years.

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