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Endo unit begins distribution of generic version of Merck's Zetia

Endo International PLC said the company's U.S.-based unit Par Pharmaceutical began shipping ezetimibe tablets, a generic version of Merck's cholesterol-lowering drug, Zetia.

Ezetimibe lowers low-density lipoprotein in patients with elevated blood cholesterol levels.

Par Pharmaceutical holds a licensing agreement with Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc. USA, through which Par is entitled to generic marketing exclusivity based on Glenmark's first-to-file abbreviated new drug application status.

According to IMS Health, U.S. sales of Zetia reached approximately $2.61 billion for the 12 months ended Sept. 30.