WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. today announced that its Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. operating subsidiary has entered into an exclusive U.S. supply and distribution agreement with AstraZeneca to distribute the authorized generic version of AstraZeneca's Atacand HCT ® (candesartan cilexetil/hydrochlorothiazide). Par has begun shipping 16/12.5 mg, 32/12.5 mg and 32/25 mg strengths of candesartan cilexetil/ hydrochlorothiazide tablets. According to IMS Health data, annual U.S. sales of Atacand HCT ® are approximately $61 million. Important Information about Candesartan Cilexetil/Hydrochlorothiazide TabletsCandesartan cilexetil/hydrochlorothiazide combines an angiotensin II receptor blocker and a diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide, and is indicated for the treatment of hypertension. This fixed dose combination is not indicated for initial therapy. Candesartan cilexetil/hydrochlorothiazide is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any component of the product. Because of the hydrochlorothiazide component, candesartan cilexetil/hydrochlorothiazide is contraindicated in patients with anuria or hypersensitivity to other sulfonamide-derived drugs. A black box warning is associated with this product regarding fetal toxicity. When pregnancy is detected, candesartan cilexetil/hydrochlorothiazide should be discontinued as soon as possible. Drugs that act directly on the rennin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. Refer to full prescribing information for complete boxed warning. About Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. is a privately held, U.S.-based specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets high barrier-to-entry generic drugs and niche, innovative proprietary pharmaceuticals through its wholly-owned subsidiary's two operating divisions, Par Pharmaceutical and Strativa Pharmaceuticals. For press release and other company information, visit www.parpharm.com. SOURCE Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc.