Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a leader in generic and specialty branded pharmaceuticals, announced that its subsidiary, Watson Laboratories, Inc, has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration to market its over-the-counter Nicotine Polacrilex Gum USP, coated mint flavour, in the 2 mg and 4 mg strengths.

Nicotine Polacrilex Gum, coated mint flavour, is the generic equivalent of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare's Nicorette fresh mint gum, which is used as an aid to smoking cessation. The market for over-the-counter nicotine gum had annual sales of over $300 million for the twelve months ending September 2008, according to IRI sales data. Watson will make the product available to customers in early January 2009.

"The approval of our mint flavoured, coated nicotine gum is a significant addition to our line of generic smoking cessation products," said Paul Bisaro, Watson's president and chief executive officer. "We also have applications pending at FDA for additional flavours and look forward further enhancing our line of smoking cessation products."

Watson Pharma is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, markets, sells and distributes generic and specialty brand pharmaceutical products. Watson pursues a growth strategy combining internal product development, strategic alliances and collaborations and synergistic acquisitions of products and businesses.