Novartis Must Drop Fougera’s Generic Metrogel

Written by on July 18, 2012 in in the news, Metrogel 1% with 0 Comments


In May this year we learnt that Novartis would be buying Fougera Pharmaceuticals . One of the products that would come over to Novartis through this deal would be generic metronidazole.

Today the FTC has approved the $1.5b deal, but has ruled that Novartis must relinquish Fougera’s rights to manufacturer generic metronidazole, and leave the rights with Tolmar.

The FTC believes that if Novartis was to roll Fougera’s generic metrogel with their own market share, competition in the market would be harmfully reduced. According the release, the generic metrogle market is split as follows:

Generic Metrogel Market Share

  • Taro Pharmaceuticals 43%
  • Fougera 36%
  • Novartis 19%
  • G&W 2%

Thus the FTC fears that Novartis controlling nearly 60% of the market could lead to a reduction in competition – and one presumes an increase in prices.

Good News

This is good news for rosacea sufferers as the FTC has recognised that the generic metrogel market is important and needs to be protected from market forces that might increase prices.

FTC Puts Conditions on Novartis AG’s Acquisition of Fougera Holdings, Inc.

For Release: 7/16/2012

Settlement Order Protects Competition in the Markets for Skin Care Gels and Cream

The Federal Trade Commission will require drug supplier Novartis AG to give up its marketing rights to four topical skin care medications, under a proposed settlement resolving charges that Novartis’ acquisition of pharmaceutical firm Fougera Holdings, Inc. would harm competition in the market for these topical drugs. The settlement order requires Novartis to end a marketing agreement that allows it to sell three topically-applied generic drugs and return all rights to a fourth generic drug in development to its manufacturer, Tolmar, Inc.

Generic metronidazole topical gel is used to treat inflamed rosacea, a condition that causes facial skin to become chronically red. Taro Pharmaceutical Industries is the market leader for the drug, with an approximately 43 percent share, followed by Fougera with approximately 36 percent share, Novartis with approximately 19 percent, and G&W with about two percent.

Under the proposed order settling the FTC charges, Novartis is required to:

  • end its marketing agreement with Tolmar, with respect to the three currently marketed generic drugs (generic calcipotriene topical solution, generic lidocaine-prilocaine cream, and generic metronidazole topical gel) and return all of the rights to distribute, market, and sell these products to Tolmar;

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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