Drug giant Pfizer has stepped into the UK’s generics sector with the launch of six copycat drugs made possible by agreements last year with India’s Aurobindo Pharma and Claris Lifesciences.

Back in May the drug giant signed two major deals that would give it a much stronger foothold in the global generics arena, acquiring the rights to 55 generic oral drugs and five injectables in more than 70 emerging market countries as well as US and European rights to a number of generics under its pact with Aurobindo, and the rights to 15 injectables in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand from Claris.

Through its Established Products Business Unit portfolio, which houses over 80 off-patent medicines, the group said it has now launched: metformin for diabetes; finasteride for benign prostatic hyperplasia; ondansetron for post-operative nausea and vomiting; and paroxetine, mirtazapine and mirtazapine OD for depression throughout the UK.

With the launch of these products, Pfizer says it has increased the range of “high-quality and cost-effective medicine options” available to pharmacists and healthcare professionals in the UK, under a previously stated commitment of delivering commercial value to its pharmacy and dispensing customers in the country.

Commenting on the move, Steve Poutlon, commercial director and head of the EPBU at Pfizer UK, said the company is “committed to ensuring that its generic medicines continue to build on the strong heritage of its patented medicines, which are known for their quality, efficacy and supply reliability,” and that its generics will “continue to deliver commercial value to pharmacists through Pfizer’s a healthy partnership pharmacy programme by providing our customers with a wider product offering”.

Introduced in 2008, Pfizer’s healthy partnership initiative is designed to offer support to pharmacists in the delivery of healthcare and related services to patients, as well as hit objectives laid out in the pharmacy contractual framework.

The scheme is focused on: supporting professional development, such as through Pfizer’s Building Confidence in Medicines Use Reviews training course; improving the patient experience, through boosting treatment outcomes via measures such as better drug packaging; and delivering commercial value, through offering a portfolio of generic medicines in the UK, for example, which the company said it intends to further expand with new launches throughout the year.