Prescription Drugs: Valium By Another Name

Valium By Another Name

Taking Valium has become as much a part of modern life-styles as messy divorces and mounting credit-card bills. In 1984 Americans seeking temporary relief from anxiety filled 25 million prescriptions for the drug, making it the top-selling mild tranquilizer, with about 50% of the market. Valium earned $240 million in the U.S. last year for its Swiss-based manufacturer, Hoffmann- La Roche, which developed the drug in the early 1960s. Its price is high: patients pay as much as $25 for 100 5-mg tablets.

Last week, though, Hoffmann-La Roche's patent on Valium expired. From now on, other companies will be able to...

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