Sunday, June 25, 2006

How will generic Zocor affect patented Lipitor?

Curiously, while Pfizer's Lipitor grabbed market share even though it was NOT the first patented cholesterol reducer to market, Pfizer may suffer as Merck's Zocor is now off-patent. Forbes writes: Doctors who treat heart attacks are excited at having a new cheap option that can take a big chunk out of patients' cholesterol. "I'm very happy to see it," says Jim Stein, a cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin. He adds that health plans are justified in their efforts to start patients on generic Zocor before they try brands like Lipitor, Crestor or Vytorin.

As to Zocor, we have entered a period in which Teva has a 180 day period of exclusivity under Hatch-Waxman. HOWEVER, Merck is doing the branded generic thing. Forbes writes: The drop in Zocor's price will get more dramatic as time goes on. For six months, under U.S. law, Israel-based drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries will be allowed to sell generic Zocor in widely used doses. Generic drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories will make the biggest, 80-milligram dose, which is rarely used because of an increase in side effects with high doses of the drug. Swiss drug giant Novartis, which is also one of the biggest makers of generics, has already sued to try to break Teva's exclusivity and launch its own generic. (...)
Merck is actually selling Zocor to some health plans at such a big discount that they are using it instead of the generic, cutting into Teva's profits. Pfizer has long used a similar strategy, using an in-house generics firm to sell copycats of its own drugs after they lose patent protection.

Forbes also writes: More big pharmaceutical firms may enter the generic drug business, both to spite copycat firms and to take advantage of a booming market. The percentage of prescriptions that are generic is expected to increase to 75% in 2011 from 56% now.

In 2006:

16 drugs face patent expiration

Total sales at stake: $14 billion

Biggest losses: Zocor for high cholesterol (maker: Merck, U.S. sales: $3.1 billion)
Zoloft for depression (Pfizer, $2.6 billion)
Pravachol for high cholesterol (Bristol-Myers Squibb, $1.3 billion)
Toprol XL for high blood pressure (AstraZeneca, $1.3 billion)

In 2007:

23 drugs face patent expiration

Total sales at stake: $11 billion

Biggest losses: Norvasc for high blood pressure (maker: Pfizer, U.S. sales $2 billion) Ambien for insomnia (Sanofi-Aventis, $2 billion)
Zyrtec for allergies (Pfizer, $1.4 billion)
Lotrel for high blood pressure (Novartis, $1.1 billion)

In 2008:

14 drugs face patent expiration

Total sales at stake: $11 billion

Biggest losses: Advair for asthma (maker:GlaxoSmithKline, U.S. sales: $2.8 billion)
Effexor XR for depression (Wyeth, $2.2 billion)
Risperdal for schizophrenia (Johnson & Johnson, $1.5 billion)
Fosamax for osteoporosis (Merck,$1.5 billion)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Todd Thomas and i would like to show you my personal experience with Zocor.

I am 55 years old. Have been on Zocor for 4 years now. Zocor did lower my cholesterol. I also have RA and did not know which caused pain stopped Zocor, pain improved dramatically, but weakness remains. Dr says permanent damage. Now I my cholesterol is high.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
Leg pain and weakness

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Todd Thomas

Zocor Side Effects

11:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home