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FDA approves Watson arthritis drug


PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug for arthritis made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, the company said.

Watson announced that the FDA approved a subsidiary's application for diclofenac sodium and misoprostol delayed-release tablets. The drug is a generic version of G.D. Searle's Arthrotec, used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in patients who have high risk of developing ulcers related to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, a class that includes the painkiller ibuprofen.

Arthrotec had sales of about $130 million during the 12-month period ended in May, according to IMS Health data.

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