Popular Rx drugs to go generic

Published: Wednesday, July 27 2011 11:46 a.m. MDT

Associated Press
The cost of prescription medicines used by millions of people every day is about to plummet. The next 14 months will bring generic versions of seven of the world's 20 best-selling drugs, including the top two: cholesterol fighter Lipitor and blood thinner Plavix. Between now and 2016, blockbusters with about $255 billion in global annual sales will go off patent. Generic competition will decimate sales of the brand-name drugs and slash the cost to patients and companies that provide health benefits. Generic versions of big-selling drugs for blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, depression, high triglycerides, HIV and bipolar disorder will be available in the coming few years. Drug prices to plummet as patents expire Brand-name and generic drug price comparisons Brand-name drugs going off patent through 2020
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Kearns, UT

Don't know if this is good or not, most are killer drugs anyway and to make them cheaper they just might kill more people. And what do they mean by cheaper? That can mean anything from one cent to $125/mo. If they can be made cheaper then isn't it criminal for drug companies to profiteer like they do? Especially over the health of the American people.

It seems in the US that the only business that can run profiteering scams is the health care and drug companies. Where is the sharing the wealth policies of Obama on this issue?


My2Cents: This has nothing to do with Obama, although a lot of his plan did include access to insurance so medications would be more affordable. I just got prescription filled that would have been $150 without insurance but with it was $40 so insurance definately helps.

I'm not going to defend drug companies because I think we do get ripped off, but it's tied to the current system of doing things. To develop a drug, the companies have to undertake years of research and then go through the testing and approval process before the drug can make it to the market. Then they have a patent that is protected for a certain number of years so they can recoup their investment. Once the patent expires, others can manufacture using the same formula so they can charge much less and competition begins. The only way to change it is to speed up the approval process (probably not a good idea if you want safe drugs) or allow competition earlier (then there's no incentive for a company to develop a new drug).

Clearfield, UT

Conspicuously absent from this list is a certain blue pill that will remain unnamed because it's name makes spam filters go nuts. It's due to go off patent in March 2012. Just in time for the baby boomers entering their senior years.
Pfizer has an army of lawyers trying everything possible to delay this, because billions are at stake.


There are many misunderstandings in the comments posted. Drug makers sell their drug to Pharmacies and Pharmacy sets the price. Pharmacy can profit up to 200% of their cost.
Drugs developed by drug makers save lives and cost to the system. If someone has high cholesterol for example and they dont take their medicine, they will die earlier than they would if they faithfully took their cholesterol medicine. The evidence is clear.
Drugs save and prolong lives and improve the quality of peoples lives. Yes all medicine like anything else has risk but in most cases, the benefit significantly outweighs the risk. When you get into a car to drive to the store, there is a risk of an accident. Just look at the number of people who still text while they drive!
There are many reasons drugs cost what they do but dont put all the blame on the drug makers. Pharmacies make a lot of profit too!


A new drug (new molecular entity) costs more than $800 million to develop and get cleared by the FDA. Because of the long development time, patent life turns out to be short. (Why do you think that drug stocks are not doing well at the moment? Why invest in such risky enterprises when you can invest in a Google or Apple?) Pharmacy prescription margins have been successfully reduced to small percentages by the formularies, insurance companies and providers who are now making the greatest share of the money. If you just look at the biggest opportunities for drugs to save lives (lipid/cholesterol control, hypertension, diabetes/insulin, blood thinners, for example) we all enjoy a fabulous deal, because these are all adequately addressed now by generics. Twenty years ago to achieve this kind of cost/benefit in our health care would have been a pipe dream. Now it is a reality. FACT: the FDA is too beholden to consumer advocates like Ralph Nader and Sidney Wolf (who like a story to get in front of a microphone and raise money for their organizations). Also the ambulance chasing lawyers and their unreasonable settlements in jury trials contribute to drug costs.

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