Is A CURE ON the WAY? – THE BAD MEDICINE OF GENERICS, CITIZEN PETITIONS, AND NOERR-PENNINGTON IMMUNITY
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Over the next five years, approximately 110 drugs, including blockbuster products such as Sanofi-Aventis’ allergy medicine Flomax, GlaxoSmithKline’s herpes medication Valtrex, and Pfizer’s cholesterol medication Lipitor will lose their patent protection. In 2009 alone, brand-name drugs coming off patent were valued at more than 10.8 billion dollars. As market exclusivity for these drugs ends, the doors for generic production will open. Generic drugs generally enter the market priced 20 to 80 percent lower than their branded counterparts, and generics can capture 44 to 80 percent of brand-name drug sales within a year after release. This price competition from generic drugs threatens the profits of brand-name manufacturers and reduces their returns on innovative activity. As a result, some brand-name drug manufacturers have resorted to aggressive tactics to blunt the impact of competition.