Teva’s launch makes it the first competitor to Revlimid in the United States, but perhaps not the last.
Teva Pharmaceuticals on Monday launched lenalidomide capsules, the generic of Revlimid, in the United States. The capsules are available in 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, and 25 mg strengths, according to a statement from the company.
Lenalidomide is used in regimens to treat multiple myeloma, mantle cell lymphoma, and certain myelodysplastic syndromes. Bristol Myers Squibb’s Revlimid, developed by Celgene, was a long-time money maker—the statement from Teva cited IQVIA data that put annual sales at $2.3 billion, although some reports put the 2021 figure well above that.
Revlimid’s pricing history—and the corporate strategy to keep competitors at bay—made it a poster child for why drug pricing has become a bipartisan policy issue. In a 2018 report, National Public Radio profiled patient David Miller, who founded a patient advocacy organization after watching the price of Revlimid double from $8000 to $16,691 per month when he took it from 2010 to 2016.
Meanwhile, the Medicare co-pay rose from $115 to $690 per month, according to information HHS released at the time.
“The launch of our first generic version of Revlimid in the US provides patients with another important treatment option for these extremely challenging conditions, demonstrating Teva’s commitment to making complex generic drugs available to the patients who need them,” Christine Baeder, chief operating officer, US Generics, Teva USA, said in the statement. “This product adds to our broad generic portfolio of oncology treatments, which accounts for 73% of the essential medicines in this category, as defined by the World Health Organization.”
Teva’s launch makes it the first competitor to Revlimid in the United States, but perhaps not the last. The news comes as other generics manufacturers have announced plans for their own versions of lenalidomide in Europe.