- Sun Pharmaceuticals is in the process of acquiring Ranbaxy. But before the takeover can happen, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is enforcing an anti-competitive requirement, requiring Ranbaxy to sell the acne drug minocycline to Torrent Pharmaceuticals to broaden the market in the U.S.
- Currently, the only generic manufacturers who sell minocycline are Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy's, and Par Pharmaceuticals.
- According to the FTC, Sun's $4 billion acquisition of Ranbaxy would be anti-competitive because it would prevent other generic drug manufacturers from entering the U.S. market.
Considering the fact that U.S. sales comprise half of Ranbaxy's overall sales, it is clear that a merger of Sun and Ranbaxy creates the potential for monopolies in terms of generic drugs in specific therapeutic areas.
The FTC's goal is to avert this threat. The deal between Ranbaxy and Sun, which is slated to close in April, has been contentious from the start, when six U.S.-based Ranbaxy executives quit en masse last October.
The FTC order also requires that Sun and Ranbaxy divest the 50-, 75- and 100-mg capsules of the acne drug to Torrent to facilitate Torrent's qualification as an API manufacturer as quickly as possible—and that Ranbaxy and Sun continue to manufacture minocycline for Torrent during the transition period.