Namenda controversy continues as Actavis awaits court decision
- On September 15, 2014, the New York Attorney General filed a suit against Actavis alleging that the company was planning to discontinue sales of Namenda (memantine), for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, in order to force patients to switch to a newer XR version. An injunction was issued.
- A final decision to either remove or retain the injunction is expected from the court by February 16.
- Actavis president and CEO Brent Saunders has suggested that if the injunction stands, it could reduce sales in the Namenda franchise by as much as 15% in 2016.
In 2014, Namenda generated roughly $1.5 billion in sales—sales that Actavis would like to protect. However, patent expiry is imminent in many markets starting this year, as is an anticipated onslaught of generic competitors. The heart of the issue for those who are attempting to prevent discontinuation of brand-name Namenda is that "product-hopping" or forced switches are unfair to patients. In fact, 40% of patients have already switched to Namenda XR and eventually many more will gain access to generic memantine.