Actavis Generics[1] (formerly known as Watson Pharmaceuticals and Actavis plc, prior to the acquisition of Irish-based Allergan, Inc.) is a global pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing, manufacturing and marketing branded pharmaceuticals, generic and over-the-counter medicines, and biologic products. Actavis has a commercial presence across approximately 100 countries. The company has global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and administrative headquarters in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States.

Actavis Generics
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryBranded and generic pharmaceuticals, and pharmaceutical research and development
FoundedMarch 1984; 40 years ago (1984-03) in Libertyville, Illinois, United States
FounderAllen Chao, Ph.D. and David Hsia, Ph.D.
Defunct2015 (2015)
Fate2015 Irish tax inversion and merger with Allergan, Inc.
SuccessorAllergan, plc
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland and Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States
Number of locations
40 manufacturing facilities
27 global R&D centers
Area served
≈100 countries
Key people
Brenton L. Saunders (CEO and president)
Paul Bisaro (executive chairman)
ProductsBranded and generic pharmaceuticals
RevenueUS$13.062 billion (2014)
Increase US$1.090 billion (2014)
Decrease US$−1.63 billion (2014)
Total assetsIncrease US$6.881 billion (2014)
Total equityIncrease US$28.335 billion (2014)
Number of employees
21,600 (2015)
ParentTeva Pharmaceuticals

Actavis PLC markets brand products through six franchises in key therapeutic categories including: Aesthetics/Dermatology/Plastic Surgery; Neurosciences/CNS; Eye Care; Women's Health and Urology; GI and Cystic Fibrosis; and Cardiovascular Disease and Infectious Disease.[2] The company's products include Botox,[3] Namenda, Restasis,[4] Linzess, Bystolic,[5] Juvederm,[6] Latisse,[7] Lo Loestrin Fe, Estrace, Teflaro, Dalvance, Ozurdex,[8] Optive,[9] Natrelle,[10] Viibryd, Liletta, Saphris,[11] Enablex, Actonel, Androderm, Gelnique and others.

Actavis PLC also operates the world's third-largest generics business. The company has been ranked in the top 3 in 12 global markets, the top 5 in 16 global markets, and in the top 10 in 33 global markets. Actavis also develops and out-licenses generic pharmaceutical products outside the US through its Medis third-party business, the world's largest generic pharmaceutical out-licensing business. Medis has more than 300 customers globally, and offers more than 200 products.[12] Actavis PLC is also developing biosimilars products in oncology and other therapeutic categories, and currently has five biosimilar products in development.[13] Actavis PLC has more than 40 manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world, with a capacity of approximately 40 billion units annually. Actavis Global Operations also included Anda Inc, the fourth-largest US generic pharmaceutical product distributor in the United States.[14]

On June 15, 2015, Actavis plc changed its name to Allergan plc, but the company's U.S. and Canadian generics business will continue to operate under the Actavis name.[15] In July 2015, Allergan PLC announced it would sell its Generics division of the company, including Anda Inc,[16] to Teva Pharmaceuticals for $40.5 billion,[17][18] a transaction proposed for completion by the first quarter of 2016.[19]

History edit

The company was founded in the spring of 1983,[20] when, with funding from friends and family, colleagues Allen Chao, Ph.D. and David Hsia, Ph.D., began a small drug development enterprise. Just two months later, the founders established an initial product-development and analytical laboratory with six employees (including both founders) in a leased space in Libertyville, Illinois (U.S.).

By late fall of the same year, the company moved to Southern California into an initial 2,000-square-foot (190 m2) leased facility in Corona, and the development and manufacturing of generic pharmaceuticals began.[21] The Corona site became the corporate headquarters for the rapidly expanding US company.

Company evolution edit

1990s edit

Throughout its history, Actavis has expanded both organically and as the result of strategic acquisitions. In 1993, Actavis, then Watson, announced its initial public offering (IPO) of shares of common stock. The company was initially listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol WATS. The company moved to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1997, and began trading under the symbol WPI.

Actavis facility in Iceland

2000 to 2009 edit

In 2000, the company acquired Schein Pharmaceutical Inc, an acquisition that more than doubled the company's size.[22] In that same year, the group reported revenues in excess of $1 billion. In the fall of 2006, it acquired Andrx Corporation, a Fort Lauderdale, FL–based pharmaceutical company founded by Alan Cohen, making it the third largest specialty pharmaceutical company based on total prescriptions dispensed.[23] In 2007, Dr. Allen Chao retired as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and was succeeded by Paul M. Bisaro.[24] The company's international presence began with the acquisition of the Arrow Group in 2009, providing the company with commercial presence in more than 20 international markets.[25] As a result of the Arrow acquisition, the company also acquired the biopharmaceutical development organization Eden Biodesign in Liverpool, UK.[26]

2011 to 2014 edit

In 2011, Watson moved its corporate headquarters from Corona, California to Parsippany, New Jersey. The new LEED-certified corporate headquarters at the Morris Corporate Center in Parsippany was formally dedicated on June 9, 2011.[27]

Actavis acquisition and Watson name change edit

In November 2012, Watson acquired the Switzerland-based, global generics company Actavis Group for 4.25 billion, creating the world's third largest generics company, with a leading position in key established commercial markets including the US, the UK, Nordics, Canada, Australia, and emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia.[28] Following the acquisition, Watson adopted Actavis' name for its global operations.

Warner Chilcott PLC acquisition edit

On October 1, 2013, Actavis acquired Irish pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott PLC (previously known as Galen) in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $8.5 billion.[29] The combination created a company with approximately $10 billion in anticipated combined annual 2013 revenue, and the third-largest US specialty pharmaceutical company with approximately $3 billion in annual revenue focused on the core therapeutic categories of women's health, urology, gastroenterology and dermatology. In association with the merger the company relocated its corporate headquarters to Ireland while maintaining its operational headquarters in Parsippany, taking advantage of the lower (17% vs. 35% in the United States) Irish corporate tax rate.[30] This deal inspired a series of similar moves by other drug companies and led to new Treasury Department regulations limiting the ability of companies to perform such inversions, although Actavis was exempt from these regulations as its move abroad had already been completed.[31] CEO Paul Bisaro stated that in making the inversion, they were trying to "level the playing field" given the high corporate tax rate in the United States.[32]

Forest Laboratories acquisition edit

On July 1, 2014, Actavis announced that it had completed its acquisition of Forest Laboratories (who previously acquired, Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc and Aptalis Pharma) in a cash and equity transaction valued at approximately $25 billion.[33] Following the acquisition, the company restructured its executive leadership, with Paul Bisaro being named Executive Chairman, and Brent Saunders being appointed CEO and President of the combined organization.[34]

Allergan Inc acquisition and Actavis PLC name change edit

In November 2014, Actavis PLC announced its intention to acquire Allergan Inc, the manufacturer of Botox.[35] Completion of the deal would increase its market capitalization to $147 billion.[36][37] On March 17, 2015, Actavis PLC completed the acquisition of Allergan Inc in a cash and equity transaction valued at approximately $70.5 billion. The combination created a $23 billion diversified global pharmaceutical company with commercial reach across 100 countries. In June 2015, Actavis PLC officially changed its name to Allergan PLC.[38]

Teva Pharmaceuticals 
Actavis, PLC

Auden Mckenzie Holdings Limited
(Acq. 2015 by Actavis)


Durata Therapeutics
(Acq. 2014 by Actavis)


Forest Laboratories
(Acq. 2014 by Actavis)

Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc
(Acq. 2014 by Forest)

Aptalis Pharma
(Eurand Pharmaceuticals & Axcan Pharma merged 2011,
Acq. 2014 by Forest)


(Acq. 2013 by Actavis)

Warner Chilcott PLC
(Acq. 2000 by Galen, adopted Warners name)

Procter & Gamble's prescription drug unit
(Acq. 2009 by Warner)


Watson Pharmaceuticals

Andrx Corporation
(Acq. 2006 by Watson)


Arrow Group
(Acq. 2009 by Watson)


Eden Biodesign
(Acq. by Watson)


Specifar Pharmaceuticals S.A.
(Acq. 2011 by Watson)


Ascent Pharmahealth Ltd
(Acq. 2012 by Watson)


Actavis Group
(Acq. 2012 by Watson, adopted Actavis' name)

Allergan Inc

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals
(Acq. 2015)

MAP Pharmaceuticals Inc
(Acq. 2013)

Inamed Corporation
(Acq. 2006)

(Advanced Medical Optics spun off in 2006)

Locations and facilities edit

Global headquarters edit

The company's global headquarters are located in Dublin, Ireland and administrative headquarters are located in Parsippany, New Jersey, US.[39]

Manufacturing facilities edit

The company has 40 manufacturing facilities in five continents providing the company with a core leadership position in modified release products, solid oral dosages, transdermals, semi-solids, liquids and injectables. The company's manufacturing facilities are located in Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Northern-Ireland, Italy, Malta, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Serbia, Thailand, the UK and the US.[citation needed]

Research and development facilities edit

Actavis PLC has 27 global R&D facilities focusing on the development of modified release products, solid oral dosages, transdermals, semi-solids, liquids and injectables around the world. The company's R&D facilities are located in Belgium, Bulgaria, China, France, Iceland, Italy, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Romania, the UK and the US.[citation needed]

United Kingdom price fixing charges edit

In December 2016, the company was accused by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of breaking competition law by "abuse of its dominant position" in the UK market and charging excessive and unfair prices".[40] It was alleged that the company had increased the price of hydrocortisone tablets by more than 12,000% over the course of eight years. It sold about 943,000 packets of the tablets to the National Health Service in 2015. 10 mg hydrocortisone tablets,, which were sold for 79p in April 2008, cost £88 per pack by March 2016; 20 mg hydrocortisone tablets in March 2008 were sold for £1.07, but £102.74 in 2016. From 2008 to 2015, NHS expenditure on the drug rose from £522,000 to £70 million.[41] The CMA reported its decision on 31 March 2022, confirming its findings of excessive and unfair prices being charged and anti-competitive agreements preventing the entry of potential competition into the market.[42]

In popular culture edit

Due to their production of "Promethazine With Codeine Cough Syrup", the main ingredient in recreational drug nicknamed 'lean', the brand has been name-dropped by multiple well known hip-hop artists.[43][44][45] Actavis discontinued production of the syrup in 2014.[46] However, Actavis have not ceased production of cough syrup containing hydrocodone and homatropine. Many rappers, such as Chief Keef and Future, mention Actavis cough syrup in their music.

References edit

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  5. ^ Barr, Diana (18 February 2014). "Forest Labs to be sold for $25 billion". St. Louis Business Journal.
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  10. ^ "Natrelle". Allergan.
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  13. ^ John Carroll (18 February 2015). "Can Actavis deliver a promised $6B boost from this pipeline". Fierce Biotech.
  14. ^ "Actavis Confirms Favorable Ruling In Generic Pulmicort Respules Patent Suit". First Word Pharma.
  15. ^ Haggerty, Neil (2015-06-15). "Actavis Changes Name to Allergan After Deal for Botox Maker". WSJ. Retrieved 2015-08-07.
  16. ^ "Teva Completes Acquisition of Actavis Generics". 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  17. ^ "Allergan Accelerates Transformation to Branded Growth Pharma Leader by Divesting Global Generics Business to Teva for $40.5 Billion" (Press release). Allergan. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  18. ^ Yoel, Minkoff (27 July 2015). "Teva to buy Allergan Generics for $40.5B". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  19. ^ O'Donnell, Carl (3 December 2015). "Teva divesting $1 billion in assets to clear Allergan deal". Reuters. Retrieved 4 December 2015 – via Yahoo! Finance.
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  21. ^ "Watson Pharmaceuticals acquired Arrow Group for 1.75B". TBI. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02.
  22. ^ "Watson Pharmaceuticals agrees to buy a rival". NY Times. 2000-05-26.
  23. ^ "Watson Pharmaceuticals to buy Andrx Corp". April 2006.
  24. ^ "Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Says CEO to Retire, Names Replacement". Fierce Biotech. 2 August 2007.
  25. ^ "Watson to acquire Arrow Group for $1.75 billion". Marketwatch. 2009-06-17.
  26. ^ Gareth Macdonald (February 2010). "Watson buys Eden Biodesign".
  27. ^ "Generic drug maker Watson opening research operations in North Brunswick". 30 January 2012.
  28. ^ Eyk Henning (2012-04-25). "Watson, Actavis to Merge in €4.5 Billion Deal". Wall Street Journal.
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  30. ^ Loftus, Peter (2013-05-20). "Actavis to Buy Warner Chilcott in $5 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal.
  31. ^ Gelles, David (2014-11-17). "Allergan Escapes Valeant's Pursuit, Agreeing to Be Bought by Actavis". The New York Times.
  32. ^ Drew Armstrong (2013-05-21). "Actavis Lowers Tax Rate to 17% After Warner Chilcott Deal".
  33. ^ Wainer, David (2014-02-18). "Actavis to buy Forest Laboratories for 25 billion". Bloomberg.
  34. ^ "GEN - News Highlights:Actavis Deal's a Dandy for Activist Icahn". GEN.
  35. ^ "BBC News - Actavis to buy Botox-maker Allergan $66bn". BBC News. 17 November 2014.
  36. ^ Caroline Chen (2014-11-17). "Actavis Surges to Top Drugmaker Ranks With Acquisitions".
  37. ^ Willhite, James (2014-11-17). "The Morning Ledger: Actavis Could Again Evade Treasury's Grasp for Post-Inversion Tax Break". WSJ.
  38. ^ "Actavis plc is now Allergan plc". Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  39. ^ "Actavis plc". MarketWatch. 22 May 2023.
  40. ^ Competition and Markets Authority, Hydrocortisone tablets: alleged excessive and unfair pricing, anti-competitive agreements and abusive conduct (50277), last updated 31 March 2022, accessed 1 June 2023
  41. ^ "NHS overcharged by 12,000% for hydrocortisone tablets by drug company Actavis, CMA claims". Independent. 16 December 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-12-17. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  42. ^   This article incorporates text published under the British Open Government Licence: Competition and Markets Authority, Decision: Hydrocortisone tablets. Excessive and unfair pricing and Anti-competitive agreements, published 31 March 2022, accessed 1 June 2023
  43. ^ "Future – Thought It Was a Drought". Genius Lyrics.
  44. ^ "Frank Ocean – Chanel". Genius Lyrics.
  45. ^ Lil Pump (Ft. Lil Uzi Vert) – Multi Millionaire, retrieved 2018-10-08
  46. ^ "Sizzurp Cough Syrup Off the Market". TMZ. April 23, 2014.

External links edit