FDA Approvals of 2012

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Zioptan

Drug: Zioptan
Generic molecule: tafluprost
Company: Merck
Approval date: Feb. 10

The scoop: Merck ($MRK) says this is the first (get ready for a mouthful) preservative-free prostaglandin analog ophthalmic solution and is for treating elevated eye pressure in some patients with the most common form of glaucoma. Merck sells the ointment in the U.S. and most of Europe, while it licensed it to Japanese drugmaker Santen in Japan, Germany and northern Europe.