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What Medications Do Lundbeck Develop?

Typically just referred to as Lundbeck

Lundbeck A/S is an international pharmaceutical company located in Denmark that specializes in research, production, and development for drugs that affect the central nervous system. The company concentrates on developing products to treat psychotic disorders and other psychiatric disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia as well as developing medications to treat sleep issues, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. Lundbeck also produces medications that treat rare conditions.
According to the company website, Lundbeck was founded by Hans Lundbeck in 1915 and was initially a company that supplied different types of goods to consumers in Denmark. The company entered the pharmaceutical business in 1924, primarily as an importer, but started to produce its own pharmaceutical products in the 1930s. The company began to concentrate on neurological and psychiatric medications in the 1950s and introduced its drug for the treatment of schizophrenia Truxal (chlorprothixene) in the late 1950s. Today, the company is headquartered in Denmark with offices in 57 countries. Lundbeck’s headquarters in the United States is in Deerfield, Illinois.

List of Products

According to the company website, Lundbeck produces about 8-10 medications in the United States. Some of these products may be available in other countries under different names. The products that are available in the United States from Lundbeck include:

  • Abilify Maintena (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication used in the treatment of psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder.
  • Carnexiv (carbamazepine) is an anticonvulsant medication. This is the injectable form of carbamazepine, which is better recognized by the trade name Tegretol.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that is most commonly used in the treatment of depression.
  • Nembutal (phenobarbital) is an anticonvulsant medication and sedative.
  • Northera (droxidopa) is a synthetic precursor of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which can be used to treat orthostatic hypotension that is associated with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, and other conditions that cause autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
  • Onfi (clobazam) is a benzodiazepine that is been useful in treating seizures associated with syndrome known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The syndrome is a type of epilepsy where the individual has different types of seizures. The syndrome is also often associated with intellectual impairment.
  • Rexulti (brexpiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication that can be used to treat schizophrenia. It can also be used in combination with other medications to treat depression.
  • Sabril (vigabatrin) is an analog of the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). The drug is used to treat seizures.
  • Trintellix (vortioxetine) is an atypical antidepressant medication that facilitates the production of serotonin. The drug was previously known by the trade name Brintellix.
  • Xenazine (tetrabenazine) is designed to treat involuntary movements that occur with Huntington’s disease.

The company also has a number of products in development.

Legal Issues

  • At one time, Lundbeck had the exclusive rights to manufacture phenobarbital in the United States. Phenobarbital is a drug that is used in executions in US prisons, and Lundbeck refused to sell it to prisons that used it in executions. In 2011, Lundbeck went so far as to develop a drop ship program that only delivered the drug to pharmacies and not to prisons in order to avoid this issue.
  • In 2011, Lundbeck was hit with a lawsuit regarding off-label use for its drug Onfi. Onfi is prescribed to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, but it is not approved for the treatment of other seizure disorders. An 11-year-old boy in Texas was prescribed the drug for epilepsy and developed a severe reaction known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare disorder of the skin and mucous membranes. The development of this disorder in the child was associated with use of the drug.
  • Lundbeck has been the target of at least two legal actions aimed at its marketing approaches. For example, in 2013, the European Commission imposed heavy fines on Lundbeck and several companies that produced generic versions of the drug Celexa (citalopram), charging that Lundbeck attempted to influence the companies to delay releasing their own generic versions in order for Lundbeck to maintain its profit margin on the drug in Europe. In another separate case in 2007, Lundbeck lost a dispute with generic manufacturers of Lexapro over patent issues where Lundbeck claimed that the generic producers were infringing on its patent of the drug. Lundbeck attempted to halt their manufacture and distribution of the drug in its generic form in order to keep control of the drug’s distribution and marketing.
  • Lawsuits against manufacturers of antidepressant medications are common, and Lundbeck has been involved in its share. Lundbeck has been involved in numerous lawsuits over birth defects that occurred as a result of using the antidepressant Lexapro. In addition, Lundbeck has also been the target of lawsuits that have accused the manufacturer of not revealing the dangers and side effects associated with certain drugs, such as suicidality. In rare cases, litigants are claiming that the drugs have made them homicidal.
  • Lundbeck’s research has been used in litigation focused at other pharmaceutical companies accused of engaging in unethical marketing practices by falsifying research. For example, in one case, a company claimed that a study showed that Lexapro was effective for the treatment of major depressive disorder in children, and this claim was challenged; research from Lundbeck’s research department provided evidence to the contrary.

Conclusions

Lundbeck is a specialty pharmaceutical company located in Denmark that concentrates on marketing, developing, and producing medications to assist in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The treatment of these disorders is often quite tenuous and fraught with a number of complications, including side effects produced by treatment medications.
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