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NHS looks set to save £20m as antipsychotic drug comes off patent

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 03 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2520
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The launch of generic versions of an antipsychotic drug at the end of last month is likely to save the NHS as much as £20m (€24m; $32m).

The generics manufacturer Teva launched versions of quetiapine (marketed by AstraZeneca as Seroquel) and the prolonged release version of the drug (Seroquel XR) in the United Kingdom on 30 March. Its version of quetiapine will cost £6.08 for a pack of 60 pills of the 25 mg dose, whereas the branded product cost £30.50 a pack. The NHS in England spends about £90m a year on the drug so is likely to save many millions as a result of the patent expiry.

AstraZeneca strongly resisted the lifting of the patent on Seroquel XR, arguing in the British courts …

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