Ranbaxy Laboratories on Tuesday announced the launch of the generic versions of cholesterol lowering Atorvastatin tablets in four European nations — Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany.

In a statement issued here, the company said in accordance with an agreement with Pfizer, the company had introduced the product ahead of the applicable patent expiries. Ranbaxy had launched the generic versions of Atorvastatin tablets in strengths of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg in Italy and Sweden, and in 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg strengths in the Netherlands after receiving regulatory approvals, the statement added.

Pfizer's patent for Lipitor expires on May 8 in Italy and on May 6 in the Netherlands and Sweden. In Germany, the U.S. drug maker's patent for Sortis ends on May 7. Ranbaxy's subsidiary Basics GmbH has launched Atorvastatin Basics, a generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol lowering drug Sortis in strengths of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg in the German market, it added. Basics' affiliate in Germany, Daiichi Sankyo Deutschland, will assist in the launch. Daiichi Sankyo had a substantial reach among cardiologists and physicians in the German market, the statement said.

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