Medicis' Solodyn Sales Stay Strong Despite Generic Challenges; Pay-to-Delay Works

Last Updated Sep 29, 2009 11:20 AM EDT

Despite both Teva and Sandoz dipping their generic toes into the Solodyn acne franchise, sales of Medicis' pimple-popper are still going up, reports Jefferies & Co. analysts David Windley and Andrew Hilgenbrink.

Limited generic at-risk launches captured 18 percent of the market, J&C says, but Medicis' sales are still growing. The rate of annual sales growth has declined, from a monthly peak of 23.4 percent to 21.9 percent. (Q2 2009 sales were $94 million, up from $86 million.)

J&C believes it's a matter of time before Medicis signs Mylan up to the same agreement it already made with Teva, Sandoz and Impax: Pay them to go away until November 2011.

Such a deal would place Medicis and in a similar position to Cephalon, which has also paid four other companies (Barr, Teva, Mylan and Ranbaxy) to stop manufacturing generic Provigil until 2012.

Cephalon's pay-for-delay arrangements caught the eye of FTC chairman Jon Liebowitz, who believes that such agreements are essentially bribes to prevent successful patent challenges that would bring cheaper drugs to market at earlier dates.

Might Medicis find itself under the same spotlight?

Image by Flickr user slopjop, CC.