Healthcare Industry News:  metoprolol 

Biopharmaceuticals Generics Distribution

 News Release - November 21, 2006

Par Pharmaceutical Begins Shipment of Generic TOPROL-XL(R)

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Nov. 21 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (NYSE: PRX ) today announced that it has entered into a supply and distribution agreement with AstraZeneca in the U.S. to distribute metoprolol succinate extended release tablets, which is substitutable for AstraZeneca's TOPROL-XL® extended release tablets. Par began shipping metoprolol succinate extended release 25 mg tablets today.

TOPROL-XL is a beta1-selective (cardioselective) adrenoceptor-blocking agent, for oral administration, available as extended release tablets. TOPROL-XL has been formulated to provide a controlled and predictable release of metoprolol for once-daily administration.

Annual U.S. sales of TOPROL-XL 25 mg tablets are approximately $300 million, according to IMS Health.

Important information about metoprolol succinate extended release tablets

metoprolol succinate extended release is indicated for the treatment of hypertension, alone or in combination with other antihypertensives; the long- term treatment of angina pectoris; and the treatment of stable, symptomatic (NYHA Class II or II) heart failure of ischemic, hypertensive, or cardiomyopathic origin. It was studied in patients already receiving ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and, in the majority of cases, digitalis.

metoprolol succinate extended release is contraindicated in severe bradycardia, heart block of greater than first degree, cardiogenic shock, decompensated cardiac failure, sick sinus syndrome (unless permanent pacemaker is in place), and in patients who are hypersensitive to any component of this product.

In clinical trials of patients with hypertension and angina pectoris, the most common adverse events reported with immediate release metoprolol tartrate are tiredness (10%), dizziness (10%), depression (5%), diarrhea (5%), pruritus or rash (5%), shortness of breath (3%), and bradycardia (3%).

In patients with heart failure, serious adverse events and adverse events leading up to discontinuation of study medication in MERIT-HF at an incidence greater than or equal to 1% in the group receiving metoprolol succinate extended release and greater than placebo by more than 0.5% were dizziness/vertigo (1.8% vs. 1.0%), bradycardia (1.5% vs. 0.4%), and accident and or injury (1.4% vs. 0.8%).

Patients taking metoprolol succinate extended release should avoid abrupt cessation of therapy. Following abrupt cessation of therapy with certain beta-blocking agents, exacerbations of angina pectoris and, is some cases, myocardial infarction have occurred. The dosage should be reduced gradually over a one-to-two-week period, and the patient should be carefully monitored. For full prescribing information for metoprolol succinate extended release tablets, including boxed WARNING regarding abrupt cessation of therapy, call 1-800-828-9393 or visit www.parpharm.com.

metoprolol succinate extended release should be used with caution in patients who have bronchospastic disease, diabetes, thyrotoxicosis, or peripheral vascular disease; who are undergoing major surgery, or who take calcium channel blockers of the verapamil and diltiazem type.

There is a risk of worsening cardiac failure during up-titration of the dose of metoprolol succinate extended release. Patients need to consult their physicians if the experience signs or symptoms of worsening heart failure such as weight gain or increased shortness of breath.

Patients should be advised to (1) avoid operating automobiles and machinery or engaging in other tasks requiring alertness until the patient's response to therapy with metoprolol succinate extended release has been determined; (2) contact a physician if any difficulty in breathing occurs; (3) inform the physician or dentist before any surgery that he or she is taking metoprolol succinate extended release.

Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets generic drugs and innovative branded pharmaceuticals for specialty markets. For press release and other company information, visit www.parpharm.com.

Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. To the extent any statements made in this news release contain information that is not historical, these statements are essentially forward- looking and are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA filings and approvals, acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development and launch, reliance on key strategic alliances, uncertainty of patent litigation filed against us, availability of raw materials, the regulatory environment, fluctuations in operating results and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as the Company's Form 10-K, Form 10-Q, and Form 8-K reports.


Source: Par Pharmaceutical

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