New Delhi: Pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories on Tuesday said it has launched the generic versions of cholesterol lowering Atorvastatin tablets in Italy, Sweden, Netherlands and Germany.

In accordance with an agreement with Pfizer, the company has introduced the product ahead of the applicable patent expiries, Ranbaxy said in a statement.

Ranbaxy has launched the generic versions of Atorvastatin tablets in strengths of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg in Italy and Sweden, and in 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg strengths in Netherlands after receiving regulatory approvals, it added.

Pfizer's patent for 'Lipitor' expires on May 8 in Italy and on May 6 in the Netherlands and Sweden. In Germany, the US drugmaker's patent for 'Sortis' ends on May 7.

Ranbaxy's subsidiary -- Basics GmbH has launched Atorvastatin Basics, a generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol lowering drug 'Sortis' in strengths of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg in the German market, it added.

While Lipitor is the registered trade mark of Pfizer in US and other markets, the US firm sells it under the brand name 'Sortis' in Germany.

"Basics' affiliate in Germany, Daiichi Sankyo Deutschland GmbH will assist in the launch. Daiichi Sankyo has a substantial reach amongst cardiologists and physicians in the German market," Ranbaxy said.

Ranbaxy became a part of the Daiichi Sankyo Group in 2008 after Japan's third largest drug-maker bought a majority stake for Rs 22,000 crore.

Apart from Germany, Daiichi Sankyo and Ranbaxy are working on synergies in countries such as Romania, Italy and Mexico.

Ranbaxy Western Europe Regional Director Debashis Dasgupta said, "Ranbaxy is pleased to offer a generic version of the most prescribed statin, in Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden."

The company said according to IMS MAT Dec 2011 data, Atorvastatin is the largest selling pharmaceutical product in Italy with sales of USD 377 million.

The market size for Atorvastatin in the Netherlands is USD 164.4 million and in Sweden is USD 55 million and is the largest selling statin product in these two markets, it added.

"The company will be promoting the drug directly to all channel partners including retail pharmacies and wholesalers in Italy and the Netherlands," Ranbaxy said.

In Sweden, the company will offer the drug through the official pricing and reimbursement scheme covering generic medicines to all retail pharmacies.

In November, Ranbaxy had launched Atorvastatin, a generic version of Lipitor, in the US market with 180 days of marketing exclusivity. Last month, it launched the drug in Australia.

Lipitor, Pfizer's blockbuster cholesterol lowering drug had sales of over USD 10 billion for the year ended September 30, 2010.

Shares of Ranbaxy were on Tuesday trading at Rs 419.70 in the afternoon trade on BSE, up 0.51 percent from its previous close.