25 Jul '11, 5am

Drug prices to plummet as wave of patents expire. Cholesterol fighter Lipitor and blood thinner Plavix included

Drug prices to plummet as wave of patents expire. Cholesterol fighter Lipitor and blood thinner Plavix included

The cost of prescription medicines used by millions of people every day is about to plummet. -- PHOTO: AP 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. The magnitude of this wave of expiring drugs patents is unprecedented. Between now and 2016, blockbusters with about US$255 billion (S$308 billion) in global annual sales are set to go off patent, notes EvaluatePharma, a London research firm. Generic competition will decimate sales of the brand-name drugs and slash the cost to patients and American companies that provide health insurance benefits. Top drugs getting generic competition by September 2012 are taken by millions every day: Lipitor alone is taken by...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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