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Barr Can Sell Generic Pravachol

The FDA approves its version in three strengths.

Generic drugmaker

Barr Pharmaceuticals


received regulatory approval for its version of

Bristol-Myers Squibb's

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cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol.

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The Food and Drug Administration approved the generic, known as pravastatin, at three dosage levels, 10, 20 and 40 milligrams. The agency also gave Barr tentative approval of an 80-milligram pill, which the company plans to roll out after a competitor's 180-day exclusivity period ends, pending final approval by the FDA.

Pravachol lost U.S. patent protection earlier this year. Other companies, including the world's biggest generic maker, Israel's


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, have already received the go-ahead to sell their own versions of the drug.

Pravastatin is a treatment intended to prevent heart problems in individuals with high cholesterol who show no indication of coronary heart disease, as well as a secondary preventative measure for patients who do have clinically evident heart disease.

Shares of Barr rose 1.6% to $50.85 Tuesday.