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Teva launches copy of asthma inhaler Advair

April 20 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd launched its asthma inhaler and the authorized generic of the drug on Thursday, nearly three months after it got U.S. approval to market a copy of GlaxoSmithKline's best-selling Advair.

Teva did not disclose the pricing of the inhalers. Bernstein analyst Erica Kazlow said the branded inhaler was priced at $285 wholesale acquisition cost, while the authorized generic was priced at $90.

Kazlow noted that the pricing of the branded drug was in line with that of its peers.

GSK's Advair, which brought in 1.83 billion pounds ($2.35 billion) in 2016 sales, is also widely used for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while Teva's AirDuo RespiClick is only approved for asthma.

GSK has been preparing for the loss of Advair exclusivity for the past two years but the potential launch of generics will still be a blow, since the medicine is highly profitable and has sold more than a $1 billion annually since 2001.

"Teva's willingness to use generic strategy for the product is encouraging as it relates to the company's willingness to look at a tough reality and take appropriate action," Kazlow added.

The Israeli drugmaker said it expects the sales of its authorized generic to represent most of the sales of the two products.

In March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve Mylan NV's generic version of Advair.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc and Vectura Group Plc are also expecting approval for their generic versions of the inhaler.

GSK did not immediately respond to the requests for comment. ($1 = 0.7798 pounds) (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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