On Friday, the company announced the Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug, which is a combination of its own Tekturna and amlodipine, which was originally developed by Pfizer
Getting Tekamlo on the market could help boost sales of Tekturna as well. Doctors might be willing to start with Tekturna knowing that they can escalate to Tekamlo if the first drug isn't sufficient to lower blood pressure.
Novartis can use all the help it can get in the cardiovascular arena. The company sold nearly $3 billion worth of its top-selling blood pressure drug, Diovan, in the first half of the year, but the drug goes off patent in 2012. Tekturna raked in just $190 million over that time frame.
It's unlikely that Tekturna and Tekamlo will ever reach the levels of Diovan considering the increasing numbers of generic blood pressure medications on the market -- big sellers, Merck's
But at this point, Novartis and the rest of the industry are looking for incremental increases and that's just what Tekamlo provides. Four singles is the equivalent of a home run after all.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., has baseball on the brain. He doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Pfizer is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice. The Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline and has a disclosure policy.