Drugs: Here Come the Sons of Valium

Here Come the Sons of Valium

Drug companies offer anxious Americans a host of tranquilizers, but none is more popular than Valium, the country's fourth-best-selling prescription drug. Until its patent expired last February, Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss firm, , enjoyed a monopoly in manufacturing Valium. Last week that profitable preserve was spoiled when three pharmaceutical companies received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin marketing the medicine under its generic name, diazepam.

About a dozen manufacturers applied to produce the tranquilizer, but permission has so far been granted only to Zenith Laboratories, Mylan Laboratories and the Parke-Davis division of Warner-Lambert. Diazepam is expected to sell...

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