Drug maker Putney Inc. this week began selling Carprofen Sterile Injectable Solution, a generic version of Rimadyl, the anti-inflammation medication that has earned longtime rights holder Zoetis Inc. hundreds of millions of dollars over the years.
The development gives Putney all three dosage forms of generic Rimadyl: injectable, chewable tablets and caplets. The active ingredient, carprofen, is formulated to control osteoarthritis pain and inflammation in dogs and for postsurgical pain.
“Putney is helping veterinarians make pet health care more affordable for their pet owner clients by bringing new FDA-approved veterinary generic medicines to the market,” CEO Jean Hoffman said.
Putney launched Carprofen Chewable Tablets in December. At the time, the Portland, Maine, company estimated industry sales of chewable Rimadyl and its generic equivalents at $70 million a year.
Another U.S. drug maker, Bayer Animal Health, offers generic Rimadyl in soft chewable tablets under the brand name Quellin.
Zoetis’ 2014 earnings report, released Wednesday, highlighted the threat to sales of one of its flagship products.
“Growth was offset by competition to our Rimadyl franchise and competitive pressure in vaccines and parasiticides,” Zoetis stated.
Rimadyl was released in 1997 by Pfizer Inc., which years later spun off its Pfizer Animal Health division as the standalone company Zoetis.
The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug lost patent exclusivity in 2001, Morningstar market analyst David Krempa wrote in November.
“But sales are currently 35 percent higher than they were in 2001,” Krempa added. “Vets’ relationship and trust in Zoetis have allowed Rimadyl to maintain and increase sales despite generic competition.”