Seven of the world’s 20 best selling drugs hold patents that will expire in the next 14 months, including the two best sellers: Lipitor and Plavix.According to Time, more drugs will be going generic than ever before and between now and 2016, pharmaceutical companies will lose $255 billion in annual sales to new generics.
Heartburn medicine Protonix recently came off patent and went from selling for $170, to $16 for generic.
A monthly Plavix prescription goes for $200 a month right now, blood pressure medicine Diovan $125, and Lipitor $150 — price drops should be at least that of Protonix.
This savings will ad up for patients everywhere.
Lipitor alone is taken by about 4.3 million Americans and Plavix by 1.4 million. Generic versions of big-selling drugs for blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, depression, high triglycerides, HIV and bipolar disorder also are coming…
The flood of generics will continue for the next decade or so, as about 120 brand-name prescription drugs lose market exclusivity, according to prescription benefits manager Medco Health Solutions Inc. “My estimation is at least 15 per cent of the population is currently using one of the drugs whose patents will expire in 2011 or 2012,” says Joel Owerbach, chief pharmacy officer for Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, which serves most of upstate New York.
Insurance companies use systems that switch their patients to generics the first day it’s available which means a copay drop from about $24 to $6 for generics.
Generic Lipitor should hit pharmacies November 30 and cost about $10.
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