Perrigo ships generic congestion medicine into $135M market


Perrigo is a global over-the-counter pharmaceutical manufacturer. Photo via

Perrigo Co. has begun shipments of guaifenesin tablets, the first generic equivalent to a Mucinex branded expectorant medicine. The tablets are going to Perrigo’s retail and wholesale customers, packaged and marketed under store and proprietary brands.

Perrigo (Nasdaq: PRGO) said it is “a major new product (that) will be a high quality, value alternative to Mucinex 600mg extended-release tablets.”

Mucinex 600mg extended-release is an expectorant for relief of chest congestion due to colds and infection. It had sales of approximately $135 million over the last 12 months, according to Perrigo.

“This launch is representative of the Perrigo team’s abilities to overcome challenging circumstances as evidenced by this product’s complex formulation and patent challenges,” said Perrigo Chairman and CEO Joseph C. Papa.

He said the Perrigo team had to “prove the product’s non-infringement to existing patents,” and that their efforts resulted in a product that is “the first store brand equivalent to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and marketed to consumers as a high quality store brand product that will represent considerable savings when compared to the national brand.”

The Mucinex brand is owned by Reckitt Benckiser Group, a global firm based in Slough, England. Reckitt Benckiser’s high-profile brands also include Woolite, Lysol, Clearasil, Nuofen, Gaviscon, and French’s mustard. The company had adjusted net income of slightly over $3 billion in 2012, according to Bloomberg.

Medicine similar to guaifenesin was being extracted from the guaiac tree by Native Americans in the Caribbean when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. Guaifenesin was first approved by the FDA in 1952.

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