Drug developer and medical products company Covidien said Wednesday it has launched a generic version of the painkiller Actiq.
The company gained Food and Drug Administration approval for the generic version on Oct. 30.
In October, Covidien said it expected to start selling six different doses of generic Actiq, or fentanyl citrate, which is a powerful and addictive painkiller. It is approved only for use by cancer patients who are suffering from severe pain that is not being helped by other drugs.
Actiq is given in lollipop form. The branded version of Actiq is made by Cephalon Inc.
Barr Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, has marketed a generic version of Actiq since 2006.
Shares of Covidien, based in Ireland, fell 27 cents to $50.02.