Drug Patent Expirations: $190 Billion Is Up for Grabs

Drug Patent Expirations: $190 Billion Is Up for Grabs
March 03 01:00 2016

Over the last several years, patent cliffs have led to steep revenue losses for traditional pharmaceuticals as well as created a gateway for smaller companies to come to market with generics. The case of Pfizer and Lipitor exemplified the consequences a traditional pharmaceutical company can suffer in the case of a patent expiration. In 2011 Pfizer lost exclusivity for its anti-cholesterol drug, Lipitor. Generic versions quickly emerged and, by 2014, sales of generic copies handily surpassed Lipitor sales.

It did not end with Pfizer. Novartis and Merck had similar experiences after the expiration of patents for Diovan (high blood pressure medication) and Singulair (asthma medication), respectively, in 2012. The list goes on. Looking forward, more than 150 drugs are expected to lose their patents over the next ten years, jeopardizing more than $190 billion in brand name drug sales.1 Bloomberg Industry Report, November 19, 2015. This presents a significant opportunity for generic drug manufacturers…

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