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Watson, Actavis divest more drugs as condition for FTC merger approval


NEW YORK – Watson Pharmaceuticals and Actavis will have to divest rights to almost two dozen drugs as a condition for U.S. regulatory approval of their $5.6 billion merger announced earlier this year, according to regulatory documents.

The Federal Trade Commission is requiring the companies to sell to Sandoz — Swiss drug maker Novartis' generics division — generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline's antidepressant Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) extended-release tablets; Valeant's hypertension and angina drug Tiazac (diltiazem hydrochloride) extended-release capsules; and the anxiety drug lorazepam. The companies must also divest rights to GlaxoSmithKline's hypertension drug Dynacirc (isradipine) capsules and Watson's schizophrenia drug Loxitane (loxapine succinate) capsules while changing a contract between Actavis and Pfizer concerning the former's authorized generic version of an extended-release painkiller containing morphine sulfate and naltrexone, transferring the manufacturing rights back to Pfizer and eliminating Actavis' exclusive right to market the drug.

The rights to these drugs are being divested in addition to the 14 drugs that Watson and Actavis agreed to sell to Par Pharmaceutical Cos. last week as a condition for the merger.

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