Barr announces launch of generic contraceptives


MONTVALE, N.J. Barr Laboratories will launch generic versions of Bayer’s Yasmin and Yaz oral contraceptives before Bayer’s patents expire, Barr announced Tuesday.

Under a supply and licensing agreement with Bayer, Barr will pay an undisclosed amount of money to Bayer in return for receiving generic Yasmin to sell in the U.S. under the Barr Laboratories brand, starting around July 1. Under a similar but separate agreement, Barr can begin marketing and selling Yaz under its brand starting on July 1, 2011.

“We are very pleased to have reached these licensing agreements with Bayer that permit Barr to launch our authorized generic versions of Yasmin and Yaz to patients years before the patents protecting these products are due to expire,” Barr Chairman and chief executive officer Bruce L. Downey said.

Still, Bayer will continue appealing a decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey from March 3 that invalidated Bayer’s patent for Yasmin.

Known generically as drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, Yasmin and Yaz had sales of $1.6 billion in 2007, according to Bayer financial data.

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